Responding to Fran

September 6, 1996

Responding to Fran

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the efforts of more than two dozen federal agencies to clean up after Hurricane Fran, which plowed into the North Carolina coast last night, leaving a wide path of destruction in its wake. At least 12 people were killed as the hurricane pushed inland.

President Clinton delcared North Carolina a major disaster area today, allowing federal emergency assistance to roll into the state. FEMA Director James Lee Witt flew to Myrtle Beach, S.C. this morning to oversee response efforts.

The Department of Health and Human Services deployed three Disaster Medical Assistance Teams to the area. Three Urban Search and Rescue Teams have also been activated. The Department of Agriculture is working to make sure food supplies are available to victims of the storm. The Energy Department is coordinating assessment of damaged power lines and facilities. Over 1 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia lost their electricity as a result of the hurricane.

The National Weather Service has, of course, been tracking the storm's path since long before it reached the coast. As of 2:00 p.m. Friday, Fran had been downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression, although heavy rains are expected to cause flooding in parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The National Hurricane Center is posting advisories on its web site every few hours. The FEMA Web Site has posted a projected path for the downgraded storm.

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