Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Six months after tornadoes, communities making ‘tremendous’ progress rebuilding
This past Sunday marked six months since several devastating tornadoes tore through Kentucky, killing two dozen people and damaging thousands of homes and businesses. After a recent visit to West Liberty in Morgan County, Gov. Steve Beshear said that many of the affected communities have made tremendous progress in repairs and rebuilding.
“Our teams worked hand in hand with the federal government and local governments to make sure our citizens got the help they needed as quickly as possible. We also worked to restore necessary government services, such as the county clerk offices, within days. I’m proud of all these communities for their resilience and their tenacity in rebuilding and recovering,” Beshear said.
While many counties sustained significant damage in the storms, West Liberty saw most of its main governmental buildings destroyed – including the current courthouse as well as a new courthouse that was still under construction.
A group of state agencies worked alongside the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency and local officials to find appropriate temporary locations for state offices and assist local officials in restoring access to needed services.
In many cases, the state has records that were critically important to storm victims. The state agencies worked together to set up temporary offices that allowed residents to quickly replace a driver’s license, register a vehicle, check on child support, or to complete any other task related to state government.
Storm impact by the numbers
• Kentucky Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved millions of dollars in assistance for survivors of the tornadoes and severe weather occurring Feb. 29-March 3, 2012.
• Thousands of survivors contacted FEMA for help or information regarding disaster assistance. Many people sought housing assistance from FEMA because their primary residence has been damaged or destroyed.
• More than 2,800 homes sustained damages. Of those, 810 were destroyed.
FEMA Public Assistance obligated more than $24.5 million for repair projects in eligible counties.
More than $10.2 million was approved for Individual Assistance grants, including housing assistance, short-term rental assistance, home repair costs and other needs assistance.
More than $10.5 million in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses were approved by the Small Business Administration.