The new ones are Greene, Jones, Nash, Warren and Wilson counties. The designation allows families and business owners to seek low-interest loans or grants to help them recover from the storm.
"We continue to aggressively pursue every bit of assistance we can provide for those who suffered losses from Hurricane Irene," Gov. Perdue said. "We want to help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible."
Perdue also announced that nine more counties will receive public assistance. Those counties are: Bertie, Camden, Currituck, Greene, New Hanover, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt and Wayne.
Hatteras residents can leave, return to island
Hatteras Island residents are now being allowed to leave for non-emergency reasons and return to their homes.
Dare County officials said Saturday that residents who want to leave must present a driver's license. They also must have a special pass that's available from Dare County social services at offices at county offices in Frisco and at the community center for the villages of Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo.
Residents are warned that their return could be congested if they go back to the island during the staged re-entry of residents scheduled for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Perdue said the Governor's hurricane hotline is open for people who need help. Residents can call (888) 835-9966. The deaf and hard of hearing can call (877) 877-1765. More is also available at www.readync.org
Residents needing assistance can also call:
- FEMA (800) 621-3362
- Red Cross (800) 999-6828
Help is available in Dare County through Dare County Social Services and the American Red Cross. If you need this assistance call (252) 475-5655.
For general storm-related information, citizens can call the Currituck Emergency Hotline at (252) 232-6010, visit www.CurrituckGovernment.com, www.VisitCurrituck.com, or follow CurrituckGov on Twitter.
Donations have already started to come in to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund.
Governor Perdue announced the relief fund Tuesday. Learn more at: www.ncdisasterrelief.org.
If you'd like to donate to the Red Cross for storm relief, you can do so at: www.american.redcross.org