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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers are meeting to keep tabs on the needs of thousands of homeowners and businesses whose property was damaged by deadly tornadoes last month and whether more should be done to help these and future storm victims.

The General Assembly scheduled the first meeting Monday for a special panel that will receive updates on the recovery efforts and determine if legislation is needed to improve the state’s response.

Rep. Mike Stone of Sanford and Sen. Louis Pate of Mount Olive are leading the Joint Select Committee on Tornado Damage Response.

The storms spawned 28 tornadoes and killed 24 people. Eighteen counties have been declared federal disaster areas, so residents can apply for federal aid.

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

AP-NY-05-09-11 0903EDT

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