Hurricane Irene Destroyed More Than 1,100 Homes in North Carolina

According to North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, Hurricane Irene destroyed more than 1,100 homes and caused more than $70 million in damage. The governor, who toured the damaged area with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, said that the damage estimate would likely increase when when business losses were factored in.

Perdue said at a press conference:

“This has become an expensive hurricane for North Carolina. While others are saying, ‘She was a Category 1,’ for our state and for our coastline, the magnitude of the rain and the intensity of the wind and the duration of the hit for our coast is significant.”

Perdue is asking the federal government to declare seven counties in North Carolina disaster areas so that they can receive federal aide. The federal government is currently helping Missouri recover from the tornado, but Janet Napolitano said that there is plenty of money for disaster aide.

Napolitano said:

“We are not stopping individual assistance or projects underway from earlier disasters to pay for this disaster.”

Reuters reports that there are more than 150,000 power outages throughout the state, which is drastically down from 600,000 a few days ago. Perdue said that 13 shelters around the state housed about 850 evacuees overnight.

More than 440,000 people lost power at some point during the storm. Progress Energy says that most people in North Carolina have power now, but close to 50,000 customers are still living without power. The company expects nearly all customers to have power by midnight tonight.

People can send donations to help North Carolina recover from Hurricane Irene to the N.C. Disaster Relief Fund.