NC governor: Irene damage tops $400 million

September 2, 2011 - 4:45 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's governor says preliminary losses from Hurricane Irene now top $400 million in North Carolina.

Gov. Beverly Perdue said Friday that agricultural losses represent the bulk of the figure, at more than $320 million. They're followed by local government costs of more than $45 million and uninsured or underinsured home and business damage of more than $40 million.

Perdue has asked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for a major disaster declaration for 43 counties in eastern North Carolina. She says that without help, many farms will go out of business. The declaration would allow the department to provide low-interest loans and other federal assistance.

Damaged crops include corn, cotton, peanuts, sweet potatoes and tobacco. Also damaged were swine and poultry, along with farm buildings, machinery and equipment.