FEMA releases 6-month update on tornado efforts

KENTUCKY (WFIE) – It has been six months since deadly tornadoes hit western Kentucky and recovery efforts continue to help those affected.

According to a press release, as of June 1, a total of $81.9 million in federal disaster assistance has been approved for survivors.

FEMA officials released “recovery highlights” on Tuesday.

They listed federal disaster assistance – by the following numbers:

  • FEMA Individuals and Households Program
    • 16 counties have been designated for federal aid: Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor, Warren
    • $15,585,577 approved for individuals and households, including:
      • $11.2 million approved for housing assistance
        • $4.38 million in repair assistance
        • $4.55 million in replacement assistance
        • $2.27 million in rental assistance
      • $4.3 million approved for Other Needs Assistance, which helps replace essential household items and other critical disaster-related needs
  • FEMA Public Assistance (Infrastructure and Emergency Works Program)
    • 23 counties have been designated for some form of federal assistance: Barren, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Grayson, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Meade, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Shelby , Spencer, Taylor, Todd, Warren
    • 746 projects, large and small, are under study. Before they can be obligated, each proposed project must be assessed for compliance with federal laws and policies, including environmental and historic preservation regulations. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate assistance from insurance products and funding from other sources.
    • 86 projects committed for $6,347,338, including two major projects of more than $1 million each:
      • $1,585,196 — to Bowling Green Municipal Utilities for its mutual use of 18 utility companies that assisted with electrical restoration and repairs. Three utility companies from Kentucky, three from Tennessee and 12 from Georgia participated in the emergency response between Dec. 12 and Jan. 10.
      • $2,409,846 – to Marshall County for expenses paid to remove and dispose of plant debris between December 27 and January 25. The work included labor, equipment, material and contract costs.
  • FEMA National Flood Insurance Program
    • Total claims: 6 Total paid: $79,261
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance (funded by FEMA; administered by the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance)
    • $1,531,140 approved for Kentuckians who lost their jobs or were unable to work as a result of the tornadoes
  • US Small Business Administration
    • 640 disaster loans approved for homeowners, tenants and businesses for a total of $58,405,500, including:
      • $49.8 million in home loans (581)
      • $8.5 million in business loans (59)
  • Disaster Recovery Centers
    • 18 centers, including seven fixed sites and 11 mobile centers, open in 16 counties designated for FEMA individual assistance: Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor and Warren
    • 7,327 visitors from December 20 to March 19
  • FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams
    • conducted door-to-door outreach activities during the registration period from December 12 to March 14
    • visited 11,193 homes, provided registration assistance, updates, resources and referrals, and responded to inquiries
  • FEMA Multilingual Services
    • The multilingual helpline received 233 requests for interpretation in 16 languages, allowing non-English speaking callers to seek help or ask questions. Helpline specialists can interpret in 120 languages
    • FEMA is also providing a telephone translation service for disaster workers interacting with survivors of the Kentucky tornado.
  • FEMA Direct Temporary Housing
    • Six approved counties: Caldwell, Graves, Hopkins, Marshall, Muhlenberg and Warren
      • 53 households across six counties placed in temporary homes
  • Crisis Counseling and Disaster Legal Services Funded by FEMA
    • The US Department of Health and Human Services and FEMA have approved the Free Immediate Crisis Counseling Services program for up to 60 days; the regular service program has been approved for a maximum of nine months, or until January 15, 2023.
    • Disaster legal services have been approved for low-income residents unable to afford their own attorney. The free service is a partnership between FEMA, the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, the Kentucky Bar Association and other Kentucky legal groups.
  • FEMA Risk Mitigation
    • Community education and outreach teams visited hardware stores to offer free advice and information on how to build stronger, more resilient homes. They also offered home improvement tips and proven methods to help prevent or reduce damage from future disasters.
      • Advised 6,528 people at 108 sites
      • Provided 21 demonstrations of stormwater models to 616 participants at nine locations
    • Floodplain management and insurance teams provided local floodplain administrators with general technical assistance to help communities rebuild more safely through the application of local codes and floodplain management regulations.
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers
    • Debris removal operation conducted from December 23 to April 4 in Graves County, including Mayfield
      • 433,408 cubic yards of debris removed from public rights-of-way in Graves County
        • 265,453 cubic yards of debris removed from the Town of Mayfield’s public rights-of-way

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