North Carolina farmers who suffered on-farm damage from the deadly tornado outbreak that spread across more than 150 miles of the state last Saturday can get some help from a recently established Tornado Emergency Hotline, established by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The phone number for the emergency line is 1-866-506-6222, and it is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. The hotline became operational on April 20 and will be open this Friday and Saturday (due to Easter weekend) from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.

If calling after hours, growers or landowners can leave a message and information will be provided as soon as possible.

The primary purpose of the hotline is to provide a place for farmers to get more information about assistance programs. In some cases North Carolina Department of Agriculture representatives can answer questions about disaster relief programs and in other cases the caller may be referred to other sources.

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has visited the hardest hit counties, including a memorable stop in Bertie County, where 11 people died from the storm. Estimated storm damage in rural Bertie County alone has been set at $2.5 million.