RALEIGH, N.C.(WFMY)-- Tuesday Governor Roy Cooper says Hurricane Florence has contributed to 39 deaths so far in North Carolina. Two more people who died in incidents related to the storm have been added.

This comes as communities, families, farmers and businesses across eastern and southern parts of the state continue to dig out from deadly storm that hit the Wilmington area as a Category 1 Hurricane. While friends and family mourn loved ones lost to the storm and its aftermath, Governor Cooper urges people recovering from Florence to apply with FEMA for assistance.

“Florence cut a broad path of death and destruction through our state and we will not soon forget this storm or the lives it claimed,” Gov. Cooper said. “For people working to recover, applying with FEMA is the single most important thing you can do. If you suffered damage from Florence, make sure you apply for assistance right away.”

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Anyone whose home was damaged by Florence is encouraged to begin the FEMA registration process by calling 1-800-621-FEMA to register via telephone or by visiting disasterassistance.gov to register online. People can also apply at disaster recovery centers open around the state in hard-hit communities, including two new centers opening this week in Harnett and Duplin counties.

As of today, more than 104,000 North Carolinians have registered with FEMA since Florence hit and nearly $70 million in federal disaster assistance has been approved for individuals and families.

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The governor also kicked off Back@Home North Carolina. It's a $12 million initiative to help families still in Hurricane Florence disaster shelters or staying in unsafe or unstable arrangements quickly transition to safe and sustainable longer-term housing. Back@Home is based on an innovative program implemented in Texas after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

For more information about Back@Home North Carolina, visit www.backathome.org.

The NC 211 information line can provide callers with housing, recovery and other storm-related details. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162, or text FLORENCE to 898211.

Photos: Animals Stranded in Florence Floodwaters Helped to Higher Ground

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