At 6 Months, Federal Aid After Alabama Tornadoes Nears $25 M

ATLANTA, Ga. – Six months later, things are back to a semblance of normal for high-school students in Enterprise, Ala.

Of course, normal is a relative term after devastation such as that wrought by an early March tornado. School is back in session, but unfortunately eight students will never return. Classes cannot be held in Enterprise High School, but nearby Enterprise-Ozark Community College stepped up to accommodate them.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to help with the recovery, including the obligation of more than $9 million to the Enterprise Board of Education. The lion’s share of that is for rebuilding the high school.

Overall, six months after tornadoes struck southern Alabama and claimed 10 lives including those at EHS, federal disaster assistance to impacted people and communities is approaching $25 million.

FEMA reports that more than 2,000 Alabamians applied for disaster assistance after tornadoes pummeled the area on March 1.

The total in federal disaster aid includes more than $10.5 million to individuals. FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program provided $1.6 million in disaster grants to households, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provided more than $9 million in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses.

Meanwhile, FEMA has obligated $13.6 million in Public Assistance Program funds to local governments and agencies to remove debris, provide disaster-related emergency services and repair or rebuild damaged infrastructure.

FEMA and other federal agencies have helped Alabamians recover by spending “By the Numbers” as of Aug 30, 2007:

Total federal outlay, $24,268,613.55:

  • $13,617,955 in Public Assistance funds, for 112 community-recovery projects by local governments and certain agencies such as utility districts
  • $9,012,300 in SBA disaster loans, for homeowners, renters and businesses
    • $7,875,100 in loans for homeowners and renters
    • $1,137,200 in SBA loans, for businesses
  • $1,638,358.55 in disaster assistance, through the Individuals and Household Program
    • $1,144,558.78, Housing Assistance (repairing uninsured homes to a safe, sanitary and functional condition and temporary disaster housing)
    • $493,799.77, Other Needs Assistance (disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs such as medical or dental expenses, funeral expenses, moving and storage, transportation costs and the repair or replacement of household appliances, clothing and necessary educational materials)
    • 2,006 applicants (declared counties: Coffee, Dale, Dallas, Henry, Jefferson, Montgomery, Wilcox)

    A county-by-county summary can be found here.

    FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

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    FEMA press release

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