Disaster aid nears $900,000 in local area

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Federal aid to Bertie and Hertford County residents impacted by the deadly tornadoes of April 16 totals nearly $900,000 according to the latest numbers provided by FEMA.

As of July 7, FEMA received 222 applications from storm victims in Bertie County, those seeking assistance for housing and other needs. In return, FEMA, through several programs, has awarded $800,050 in grant funding to assist Bertie citizens whose property was in the path of two twisters that left a trail of destruction from Askewville to Colerain.

In Hertford County, 64 applications for aid were received. FEMA, as of July 7, responded with $93,426 for those whose homes were destroyed or damaged when the tornadoes touched down in the Harrellsville area of the county.

Statewide, federal and state grants and loans for disaster assistance now top the $18 million mark to help North Carolinians in 20 counties recover from the severe storms.

July 5 marked the final day for individuals to register with FEMA and to return disaster loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved more than $10 million for Public Assistance, a cost-share reimbursement program for local governments, state agencies and eligible nonprofit organizations. FEMA pays 75 percent of the cost of eligible projects and the state pays the 25 percent nonfederal share for eligible emergency measures, debris removal and repair and replacement of public facilities damaged by the storms.

As of July 7, assistance to individuals includes:

More than $5.3 million from FEMA’s Individual and Household Program for temporary housing and home repairs.

Nearly $2.1 million in Other Needs Assistance, a joint state-federal program to help individuals replace personal property and pay for certain other disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.

More than $11.2 million in SBA low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses.

In other figures:

More than 9,700 people have registered with FEMA for assistance.

Nearly 6,200 homes have been inspected.

36 temporary housing units supplied by FEMA are occupied in counties where rental resources are scarce.

More than 5,100 SBA disaster loan applications have been sent out, of which more than 900 have been returned to SBA.

FEMA’s housing assistance and Other Needs Assistance grants for medical, dental, and funeral expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be considered for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. Applicants who do not qualify for an SBA loan may be eligible to receive Other Needs Assistance grants for these items.

For more information about this disaster, go to www.nccrimecontrol.org and click on the red “April Tornadoes” tab. More information is also available at www.fema.gov

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal