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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 22, 1998
                         President Clinton 
                Declares Disaster in North Carolina

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the state of North Carolina and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding on March 20-21, 1998.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in Rockingham County. Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

James L. Witt, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Jack Schuback of FEMA's regional office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in the other areas, and additional assistance and areas may be added after the assessments are completed.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.