The Raleigh office sends thoughts and prayers across the state of North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. While we may not know the full extent of the storm's impact for weeks, know that we are here to serve in whatever way that we can. We wish everyone a successful recovery and safe travels during this time.
Governor Cooper has called a special session for October 9. The General Assembly says it is prepared to take up matters pertaining to disaster relief funds.
Hurricane Florence Update
Although communities across the state are lifting evacuation orders and beginning the recovery process, Governor Cooper is still urging citizens to watch for major flooding. Roads in many parts of the state remain dangerous due to debris and floodwater. The NCDOT has released a travel advisory list that provides updates on road conditions. You can view the list here.
To date, the storm has claimed the lives of 27 in North Carolina alone. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted the Governor’s request for a major disaster declaration. The following counties will receive funds: Bladen, Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne.
The Governor has requested a major disaster declaration for additional counties, including Greene, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Pitt, Richmond, Scotland, and Wilson.
As the state continues its recovery efforts from the impact of Hurricane Florence, here are a number of resources to help aid the process:
- North Carolina Department of Public Safety: Hurricane Florence Updates
- NC Road Conditions
- Dial 2-1-1 for general information about shelters, food assistance and storm recovery help
Donating to Recovery Efforts
- North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund
- SBP Florence Recovery Fund
- NC Small Business & Technology Development Center: Recovery Resources
- Carolina Small Business Development Fund’s Hurricane Florence Recovery Loan Program The Hurricane Florence Recovery Loan Program is specifically designed to assist small business owners whose operations were impacted by the storm in September 2018.
- U.S. Chamber Foundation: Small Business Recovery Guide The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has put together a step-by-step small business recovery guide, which includes numerous links and suggestions for a variety of scenarios. Call 1-888-MY-BIZ-HELP (1-888-692-4943) for more assistance.
- Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance This federal website allows you to apply for more than 70 forms of disaster assistance from 17 federal agencies.
- Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Loans
- FEMA Public Assistance Fact Sheet
- National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) “What To Do After The Flood”
Road to Recovery
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, lawmakers, first responders, and volunteers from across the state and nation have shown their support. From members of the General Assembly to President Trump, leaders and lawmakers are making their way across the devastated areas of the state. Lawmakers posted pictures of hands-on scenes across social media.
|Governor Cooper and President Trump listen during a briefing at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
|Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and Rep. John Szoka (R- Cumberland) stand with State Highway Patrolman during a visit to Fayetteville. (NC SPEAKER TIM MOORE FACEBOOK)|
|LT. Governor Dan Forest speaks with First Responders from New York City Urban Search and Rescue Task Force at a staging area (LT.GOVERNOR DAN FOREST FACEBOOK)|
|Governor Cooper and Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) greet FEMA coordinator Albie Lewis during a visit with emergency personnel in Craven County. (NC SPEAKER TIM MOORE FACEBOOK)|
|Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), Sen. Danny Britt (R-Columbus), Rep. Charles Graham (D-Robeson) answer questions during a press conference in Robeson County. (THE ROBESONIAN)|
Wilmington partner’s life after Florence
After Hurricane Florence battered the North Carolina coast and caused flooding that effectively cut off the port city of Wilmington from the rest of the state, lawyers in the region are trying to come to terms with the extensive damage while continuing to serve their clients. McGuireWoods partner Hal Kitchin was interviewed by American Lawyer Media’s Law.com for a Sept. 17 story on how the legal community is responding to the disaster.
“It’s not like you can relax and focus on work when you’re thinking about everyone who stayed behind,” said Kitchin, a partner in the firm’s financial services litigation practice.
Kitchin said he and his family evacuated Wilmington before Florence made landfall. While he has the same connectivity working remotely that he had in his office, he said, “I’d like to be back there and be in the neighborhood and trying to help other people.” But roads into the city remained inaccessible due to flooding.
“As much as I’d like to be back there,” he added, “I have two small kids and a wife and I don’t feel like we’re going back until we know we have power on at the house.”
The story noted that the North Carolina Bar Association has a website with resources for the public, volunteer lawyers and attorneys who have experience related to storm damage