MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday signed a letter formally requesting disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Calhoun, Cullman, Etowah and St. Clair counties due to the March 19, 2018 storms. This request for assistance covers two areas: all categories of Public Assistance and Individual Assistance. If approved, Public Assistance will provide municipal and county governments assistance with debris removal, emergency protective measures and disaster damage restoration of infrastructure. Individual Assistance may also be provided as financial or direct assistance to individuals and families whose property has been damaged or destroyed as a result of a federally-declared disaster, and whose losses are not covered by insurance.
“After seeing the damage first hand, I believe that Alabama does qualify for assistance to help with the recovery from these devastating storms,” Ivey said. “I appreciate the hard work of the first responders and all the volunteers who have helped in the cleanup. There has been such an incredible partnership between communities, counties, state agencies and FEMA and I know that through this partnership we can get people back in homes, businesses back up and running and get Jacksonville State University back to normal, as quickly as possible.”
This request follows recently‐concluded damage assessments performed by local, state and federal personnel. Assessments have indicated that governments at all levels have collectively incurred millions of dollars in combined costs for expenses such as debris removal and damage to infrastructure.
“I have visited and talked with the local EMA directors in the impacted areas several times and I know first-hand the amount of devastation the communities faced, but I’ve also witnessed how the whole community came together and assisted each other,” Alabama EMA Director Brian E. Hastings said. “The approval of this request is very important to repair the major damage to the public infrastructure as well as provide individual assistance in the areas of crisis counseling, disaster case management, and disaster unemployment assistance.”
Ivey is also requesting the Small Business Administration (SBA) provide federal assistance to Morgan County due to the April 3, 2018, storms that impacted the city of Decatur. If the SBA request is granted, homeowners, renters and business owners will have access to low interest disaster loans. The SBA declaration will benefit the affected counties and their adjacent counties.
According to the National Weather Service offices in Alabama, 17 tornadoes occurred during the March 19, 2018 severe weather period.