Governor Kay Ivey’s request for Individual Assistance following the storms that took place in March of this year have officially been denied by FEMA.
Following the major storms in March, FEMA announced federal emergency aid was made available to the state to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes on March 24-27. This would not cover the second tornado that hit Marion County on the final weekend of March leading into April.
On April 25,. Ivey requested aid to help individuals in five counties, including Marion County.
While Ivey’s request for Individual Assistance has been denied, counties in Alabama, including Marion County, will receive assistance for damages done within the area.
“The damage to the infrastructure was significant in the areas designated for Public Assistance. However, based on our review of all of the information available, including the joint Individual Assistance Preliminary Damage Assessments, it has been determined that the impact to the individuals and households from this event was not of such severity and magnitude to warrant the designation of Individual Assistance,” FEMA Associated Administrator Anne Bink stated in her letter.
Bink stated that Ivey would have 30 days to appeal.
Marion County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Terrell stated the funds were denied to individual homes as they did not meet the threshold.
Terrell stated 20 uninsured homes must have been majorly damaged or completely destroyed in order for Marion County to have received the funds for individuals, a threshold which the county did not meet with many of the homes being insured and not damaged enough.
“Unless there’s very major damage, there isn’t a lot of help for individual home-owners for a declared (weather) event,” said Terrell.
“If you don’t have insurance and you are in poverty, there could be some programs out there to help you. But, it’s not like they come in with a checkbook and make everything alright again.”
Marion County, however, did meet its $100,000 damage threshold by nearly four times the amount after major power line damage was caused by winds in March.
“We got approved for Public Assistance,” Terrell said. “There will be some money coming into our county to help the power companies to help recoup their losses.”
Despite a possible appeal from Ivey concerning Individual Assistance, Marion County remains under the threshold necessary to receive funds based on FEMA’s requirements.
See complete story in the Journal Record.