Cooper tours Oak Island, a town left without power or running water after Hurricane Isaias

OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WTVD) -- Heavy machinery is out on Oak Island removing sand from the streets, and crews are working to dig out utility boxes. The electricity is cut off at more than 2,500 households.

Gov. Roy Cooper arrived on the island Thursday to see the efforts firsthand.

"I don't think any state in the country is better prepared or knows how to handle storms better than North Carolina," he said. "It's hard enough to prepare for disaster like this, but to have to do it in the middle of a pandemic makes it all that much more difficult."

The island is mostly deserted and only a few people have come back to assess the damage on their battered properties.

WATCH: Gov. Cooper visits Oak Island, tours damage
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Town officials said 1,100 homes were affected and Hurricane Isaias caused about $9.5 million in damage.

There's no power or running water. Residents were told to evacuate Tuesday.

The town is not sure when water and power will be restored. Officials were originally hoping everything would be fixed Friday.

Recovery efforts are underway as experts are warning of an "extremely active" hurricane season.

All this while the state is facing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 crisis. Revenue is down.

"There has been concern about that," Cooper said.

A large storm can costs the state millions of dollars. Hurricane Florence had a price tag of $220 million.

RELATED: 2 people dead after tornado touches down in Bertie County

Cooper is looking to Congress to pass legislation and provide financial assistance.

"If the towns and counties and the state don't have the funding to pay them, then that's going to hurt the safety and health of the people," Cooper said. "I think it's going to be important to get that extra funding. We know this has to be a priority. Health and safety has to be a priority."

WATCH: Gov. Cooper also meets with Brunswick County officials
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Gov. Roy Cooper also met with officials in storm-ravaged Brunswick County on Thursday.

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