Tropical Weather-Atlantic

In this image provided by New Hanover County Fire Rescue, members of North Carolina’s Task Force 11, based in New Hanover County, are shown during rescue efforts in Canton, N.C, on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. Authorities said that dozens of water rescues were performed after the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred dumped rain on the mountains of North Carolina.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — President Joe Biden approved a request on Wednesday for federal funds to be made available to residents of western North Carolina who saw major flooding last month due to Tropical Storm Fred.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper sought the emergency declaration for federal assistance to seven counties nearly two weeks ago.

“This federal disaster declaration will help provide assistance for Western North Carolina communities to rebuild stronger and smarter, and I appreciate the president’s approval of our request,” Cooper said in a statement.

The storm claimed the lives of six people in Haywood County, caused major damage to more than 200 homes and created nearly $19 million in estimated damages to public infrastructure. The Cruso community was among those hardest hit by the flooding.

Wednesday's approval from Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Agency frees up money to residents of Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania counties. State, tribal and eligible local governments and certain nonprofit organizations also qualify for federal funds on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work performed in the three areas, as well as Avery, Madison, Watauga and Yancey counties.

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