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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Local governments coping with the after-effects of Hurricane Irene say their costs for removing debris and making repairs will be about $40 million, pushing the statewide damage estimate to nearly $150 million.

State officials said Thursday the estimate comes as Gov. Bev Perdue seeks a public assistance federal disaster declaration and the money that comes with it for 20 counties on or near the coast.

State Emergency Management spokesman Ernie Seneca says the new $148 million figure is expected to grow as other counties report their damage estimates.

Officials said Wednesday that Martin County estimated some $37 million in damage to crops, especially tobacco and cotton.

Perdue had said earlier that a preliminary estimate of damage hit more than $71 million.

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

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