Senate Passes Bill Providing Hurricane Relief to Ocracoke School
Sterling Gutierrez | NCASA Student Extern
North Carolina Senators voted to concur on Senate Bill 312: Relief to Ocracoke School/Hurricane Dorian on Wednesday, October 23, following approval of the bill by House members earlier in the month. The bill, which provides calendar flexibility and compensation authorization for Ocracoke School, will now be presented to Governor Cooper for approval.
As previously reported by NCASA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Governor Cooper’s request for Individual Assistance on October 8, and the Governor has since stated he will not appeal FEMA’s decision. U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued a press release on October 10, stating they had met with Governor Cooper’s staff and urged them “not to draw out this [recovery] process by filing an appeal.”
Instead of relying on FEMA assistance, Governor Cooper asked the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue a Disaster Declaration for counties impacted by Hurricane Dorian. The SBA Disaster Declaration provides that victims may apply for low-interest loans that can be used to repair their homes, replace personal property, and repair businesses damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Dorian. This request was granted by the SBA on October 16 and will cover four counties—Carteret, Dare, Hyde, and New Hanover—as well as any contiguous counties. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via DisasterLoan.sba.gov.
Additionally, Governor Cooper also signed a State Disaster Declaration on October 17, offering state-funded individual assistance grants to people who do not meet the qualifications for a low-interest SBA loan, as well as for those with damages not fully covered by insurance.