Feds nix aid to local tornado victims

Published 3:33 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Marengo County residents impacted by an April 15 tornado outbreak will receive no help from Washington D.C.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this week denied a request for a federal disaster declaration. The request was made by Gov. Robert Bentley last week.

“This decision places additional burdens and worries upon already hurting families and ignores the enormous costs to our state and local governments that are already struggling,” said Congresswoman Terri Sewell who drafted a letter to president Barack Obama last week seeking aid. “I commend the efforts of the state and local governments as well as faith-based and non-profit community organizations who quickly mobilized to provide assistance to victims following this tragedy.”

Email newsletter signup

Marengo County EMA Director Kevin McKinney said victims must now rely solely on their insurance carriers and non-profit agencies for aid. He encouraged those in need to contact the local Red Cross at 295-0805. A federal disaster declaration could have unlocked millions of dollars in aid for local residents who suffered property loss or damages earlier this month during a rash of storms that produced six tornadoes.

Six tornadoes touched down over a span of more than six hours April 15, killing a Myrtlewood man and injuring four others. More than 30 structures were destroyed or damaged in a storm path that spanned upwards of 100 miles.

“My office will continue to work with state and local officials and non-profit organizations to ensure that we are doing all we can to get people the resources and assistance they need to rebuild their communities after these storms,” Sewell added.