NORTH CAROLINA -

Governor Pat McCrory issued a state of emergency for Beaufort, Chowan, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties in the wake of Friday's tornado outbreak.

"What I witnessed firsthand in Beaufort, Chowan and Perquimans counties is a stark reminder of how damaging tornadoes can be," said Governor McCrory. "My heart goes out to the hundreds of people dealing with property damage, injuries, and even the loss of life. In times like these, we must stick together and help each other out, and we will do all that we can to help communities hit by these storms."

According to a press release sent out Monday afternoon, the State of Emergency declaration is the first step in seeking federal funds to help defray the cost of providing emergency services, clearing debris and repairing any damaged public infrastructure.

The governor also pushed for weather preparedness as severe weather that caused deadly tornadoes in the Midwest, heads toward North Carolina.