On Sept. 8, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden Jr., granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the state of North Carolina triggering the release of federal funds to help people and communities recover from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred that occurred Aug. 16-18, 2021.
“This federal disaster declaration will help provide assistance for our Buncombe communities that were hit hard by the storm,” said Emergency Services Director Taylor Jones. The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred moved through Buncombe County on Aug. 17. The area experienced the heaviest rainfall in 50 years resulting in devastating flooding and damage to multiple businesses, homes, farmland, and public structures.
Residents and businesses who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing or speech impaired. Individuals may also access assistance via the FEMA app.
Please note that damages previously reported through the Buncombe County Storm Damage Hotline were for damage assessment purposes only, to determine if we met the criteria for a declaration. Anyone seeking FEMA assistance must now apply directly to FEMA. We are still waiting to see if the North Carolina Legislature will appropriate funding to assist with repairs to private culverts and bridges.
SBA Disaster Assistance
U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Assistance is also part of the package authorized with the federal disaster declaration.
Homeowners and renters should pursue the FEMA IA process first, since that assistance is not a loan that needs to be repaid. The SBA low-interest disaster loans can be useful for businesses that don’t qualify for IA or PA, and for homeowners that are insured, but still need additional funding to complete repairs.