Recovery assistance following May tornadoes tops $10 million - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Recovery assistance following May tornadoes tops $10 million

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From the USDA:

OKLAHOMA CITY - Ten weeks after the president's disaster declaration for Oklahoma's May 10-13 storms and tornadoes, state and federal assistance to help individuals and communities repair and rebuild has topped $10 million.

The majority of the assistance - more than $9.3 million - is in the form of grants and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses in the nine counties designated for Individual Assistance under the May 24 disaster declaration. Those counties are Carter, Cleveland, Creek, Garvin, McIntosh, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Seminole.

Personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have been working together at the Joint Field Office in Oklahoma City to expedite the aid to Oklahomans and their local governments.

The $9.3 million in Individual Assistance breaks down like this:

* About $6.8 million in SBA disaster loans has been approved for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.

* Nearly $2.3 million has been approved for temporary housing assistance and home repairs under the Individuals and Households Program.

* More than $265,000 in Other Needs Assistance has been disbursed to help survivors with serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other aid programs. These include personal property losses, moving and storage, transportation, medical and burial expenses.

Another $1.1 million has been obligated under FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program to help the state and its agencies, local and tribal governments and certain nonprofit organizations recover their eligible disaster-related costs.

"After disaster strikes FEMA's first priority is to rush help to affected individuals and families so they have a safe and secure place to live," said Federal Coordinating Officer Gregory W. Eaton. "With personal recovery well under way in Oklahoma, we are working hard to meet the disaster-related needs of communities."

 

The $1.1 million in aid under the PA program includes nearly $858,000 to help reimburse applicants for their storm-related cleanup costs and nearly $265,000 for emergency measures taken to protect lives and property before, during and after the disaster. Reimbursements to help cover eligible applicants' costs for repairing roads, power poles and other infrastructure damaged during the storms are next.

The current total represents projects submitted by eligible applicants in several of the counties designated for Public Assistance under the disaster declaration. Those counties are Alfalfa, Cleveland, Garvin, Grant, Love, Major, McIntosh, Noble, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Pottawatomie and Seminole. Under the PA program, FEMA pays 75 percent of eligible costs, with funds funneled through the state to the applicants. The state and the applicants split the final 25 percent.

 "We report assistance in dollars, but we measure the success of disaster recovery when homes and communities get repaired and Oklahomans can resume everyday activities," said State Coordinating Officer Fred W. Liebe. "Federal assistance is helping us achieve those goals."

For a complete breakdown of assistance approved for individuals and government entities in each affected county, click www.fema.gov/Oklahoma. Once the page opens, click the "May Tornadoes" button and then the "Recovery Statistics" button. After the Oklahoma map loads, click the name of any highlighted county.

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