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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Gov. Bev Perdue is grateful for the quick turnaround by the White House to send federal assistance after last weekend’s deadly tornadoes that she says could keep thousands of people out of work.

Perdue told reporters in Raleigh she was pleased to see President Obama quickly issue the disaster declaration. The decision means people and businesses in 10 counties and local governments in 18 counties can receive grants and loans. Perdue expects more counties to be added.

She said 21 businesses have been destroyed and 92 were badly damaged. The governor says some companies are trying to find replacement jobs for displaced employees.

Perdue says preliminary figures show more than 6,000 homes received some damage from the storm. About 440 homes were destroyed.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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