Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper has submitted a request to President Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a major federal disaster declaration to help with recovery after flooding caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Eta in November.
“Heavy rains and floods from Tropical Storm Eta left a deadly path of destruction, and many of our communities need help recovering,” Cooper said.
The governor is requesting Public Assistance to help with repairing public infrastructure in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Beaufort, Burke, Caldwell, Davidson, Davie, Duplin, Edgecombe, Hertford, Iredell, Robeson, Rowan, Sampson, Stokes, Wilkes, Wilson and Yadkin counties. The request also includes Hazard Mitigation funding statewide to help with reducing risk and mitigating damage from future storms.
The storm claimed 12 lives and caused more than $20.4 million in damages.
Five individuals were killed 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.
Cooper declared a statewide state of emergency in November and county commissioners declared local states of emergency in several counties.
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.
Flooding prompted hundreds of road closures, including a few interstate shutdowns and bridge washouts with the N.C. Department of Transportation reporting more than 430 state-maintained road closures after the storm passed. The closures included hundreds of secondary roads from the mountains to the coast and stretches of highways including I-95 north in Johnston County, I-795 in Wilson, U.S. 311 near the Virginia line in Rockingham County, N.C. 73 in Richmond County and N.C. 209 in Madison County. Also, numerous bridges were damaged or closed due to flooding.