The decision, announced on Tuesday, means that people recovering from the April 15 storm will be able to apply for low-interest federal loans or grants to help them repair their homes and businesses.
"I saw first-hand the devastation this tornado caused and the needs of people working to recover," said Governor Cooper. "Families and business owners can now apply for financial help to repair and rebuild, and I encourage storm victims to apply today."
The governor declared a state of emergency for Guilford and Rockingham counties on April 20 and sent the federal disaster declaration request to the president on April 25.
He reached out to local officials today to share the good news that the request for federal help has been granted.
Storm survivors are encouraged to register with FEMA online or via phone as soon as possible, in one of the following ways:
- Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
- Download the FEMA Mobile App and register online
- Phone 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585
- The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week
- Multilingual operators are available
Within the next few days, state and federal emergency management agency representatives will open Disaster Recovery Centers in the affected communities to help individuals complete the applications in person.
The National Weather Service determined that an EF2 tornado with winds up to 135 miles per hour touched down in east Greensboro on the afternoon of April 15 and traveled north into Rockingham County.
The storm caused one fatality in Guilford County and damaged homes, schools and businesses along a path 33.6 miles long and about a quarter mile wide, ending at Ruffin in Rockingham County.
In Guilford County, damage assessors found 36 destroyed homes or businesses, 180 with major damage, 289 with minor damage and 316 affected. In Rockingham County, the storm destroyed five homes or businesses and left seven with major damage, 21 with minor damage and 19 affected.