Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07) joined Senator Richard Burr, Congressman Walter Jones (NC-03) and Senator Thom Tillis in writing a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate urging support of Governor Pat McCrory’s request for a Public Assistance disaster declaration in the amount of $31.7 million for Brunswick, Carteret, Dare, Hyde, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, and Pender Counties and statewide Hazard Mitigation as a result of severe storms and flooding that occurred during the period of September 25, 2015 through October 5, 2015.

“The coastal flooding and subsequent damage resulting from the effects of Hurricane Joaquin caused significant damages and losses in our coastal communities,” said Rep. David Rouzer.  “I respectfully encourage FEMA Administrator Fugate to approve this request immediately so that our beach and infrastructure needs can be properly addressed.  This is important for our local economy and will help provide for future flood protection.”  

“We must repair the beaches and dunes that were damaged by the storm,” said Senator Burr. “These environmental components are a critical piece of the system that protects North Carolina’s costal region. Failure to proceed with repairs in a timely manner could cause additional environmental and economic damage to our coastal communities that rely on tourism. In 2014, the tourism industry generated nearly half a billion dollars in Brunswick county alone.”

“Coastal infrastructure is critical to protecting Eastern North Carolina against future severe weather events and supporting the local economy,” said Rep. Walter Jones.  “I’m hopeful FEMA will provide the much-needed support and will continue to do everything I can to make sure our coastal communities remain resilient against natural and economic threats.”

“The devastating effects of Hurricane Joaquin on the North Carolina coast caused damages that will continue to plague our beaches and local economies in the region for some time to come,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “I urge FEMA Administrator Fugate to join our state in helping to rebuild our beach communities, ensuring a strong tourism industry that our local economies depend on.”

In 2014, tourism in Brunswick and Carteret Counties alone generated more than $496 million and $324 million, respectively, and accounted for more than 8,000 jobs directly related to travel and tourism.

From October 14 through October 22, 2015, FEMA, state, and local representatives conducted a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) and determined that eight North Carolina counties exceeded the threshold of eligibility for FEMA’s Public Assistance program.  For each category of damage, insurance coverage was considered and estimates reduced accordingly, such that PDA estimates only include uninsured losses.  More than 85 percent of the total damages are to North Carolina’s coastal county beaches, which are eligible for aid under FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Fact Sheet DAP9580.8 “Eligible Sand Replacement on Public Beaches” dated 10/01/2009, 44 CFR §206.225, 44 CFR §206.226 and 44 CFR §206.226(j)(2).

For a copy of the letter, please click here.