RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Gov. Pat McCrory has signed an order declaring a state of emergency for 12 western North Carolina counties after roads were damaged by heavy rains, flooding and mudslides in January.

The order was signed and announced Wednesday.

The declaration allows the state to request emergency relief from the Federal Highway Administration for the damages caused by the flooding and mudslides, which occurred between Jan. 14 and 18.

McCrory's order covers Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Swain and Yancey counties. The weather and its effects severely damaged state and federal highways, bridges and other facilities.

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