President Biden approves FEMA support for 19 NC counties, including several in Triad, after deadly Tropical Storm Eta

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A vehicle is submerged in floodwater on Freedom Drive in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Tropical Storm Eta dumped blustery rain across north Florida after landfall Thursday morning north of the heavily populated Tampa Bay area, and then sped out into the Atlantic off of the neighboring coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

A vehicle is submerged in floodwater on Freedom Drive in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Tropical Storm Eta dumped blustery rain across north Florida after landfall Thursday morning north of the heavily populated Tampa Bay area, and then sped out into the Atlantic off of the neighboring coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden approved a North Carolina disaster declaration, allowing federal funds to help support area impacted by Tropical Storm Eta, including multiple counties in the Piedmont Triad.

Eta reached the North Carolina coast on Nov. 12 and continued pouring rain on much of the state until Nov. 15.

The storm claimed 12 lives in the state, including one death in Rockingham County attributed to the storm.

The order names 19 counties, including the Triad counties of Davidson, Davie, Rowan, Stokes, Wilkes and Yadkin.

Also named are Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Beaufort, Burke, Caldwell, Duplin, Edgecombe, Hertford, Iredell, Robeson, Sampson and Wilson counties.

This approval means federal funding is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work.

In his request to the federal government, Gov. Roy Cooper said, “Heavy rains and floods from Tropical Storm Eta left a deadly path of destruction and many of our communities need help recovering.”

The storm killed five people at a flooded campground in Hiddenite. One death was reported in Wake County, where a child drowned in a creek. The State Highway Patrol reported six additional fatalities from weather-related collisions in Iredell, Alexander, Rockingham and Person counties.

In addition to the 12 killed, numerous water rescues happened during the flooding.

The National Weather Service estimated that more than 9 inches of rain fell in Rocky Mount and Harrisburg. Many other areas saw estimated rainfall amounts between 4 and 9 inches.

The storm caused more than $20.4 million in damages.

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