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FEMA spent $25 million in first month of Kentucky tornado relief so far

FEMA spent $25 million in first month of Kentucky tornado relief so far
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By West Kentucky Star staff
Jan. 13, 2022 | FRANKFORT
By West Kentucky Star staff Jan. 13, 2022 | 07:01 AM | FRANKFORT
In the thirty days after President Biden declared a major disaster for Kentucky in the wake of December tornadoes and flooding, FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration say they have provided more than $25 million in federal disaster recovery assistance. 

Kentucky's recovery assistance includes $9.6 million in individual and household grants awarded to eligible homeowners and renters in 16 Kentucky counties. The grants help pay for uninsured and underinsured losses and storm-related damage, including home repair, home replacement and rental assistance for temporary housing.

The funds also include paying for personal property replacement, moving and storage fees, transportation, childcare, and medical and dental expenses.

More than $15 million in low-interest disaster loans have been made from the U.S. Small Business Administration for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations to repair, rebuild or replace disaster-damaged physical property and to cover economic injury.

The 16 counties designated for assistance are: Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor, and Warren.
 
The commonwealth and FEMA have staffed and operated 18 Disaster Recovery Centers in 14 counties which provide one-on-one assistance to survivors. The centers have tallied more than 2,200 visits by survivors.  In addition, a FEMA mobile registration center is open in Marshall County.

To date more than 500 FEMA personnel have deployed to the operation to execute disaster assistance and recovery programs in partnership with Kentucky.

FEMA has sent Disaster Survivor Assistance teams door-to-door in every designated county's hard-hit neighborhoods helping survivors apply for assistance. The teams provide information on resources available from federal and state governments, nonprofit organizations, and the faith-based community to help address immediate needs.

DSA personnel have visited more than 5,400 homes and more than 300 businesses; they have interacted with more than 6,000 survivors and have registered more than 1,500 households for FEMA's Individual Assistance program.

FEMA assigned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage debris removal in Graves County. The Corps has deployed 175 personnel, and they estimate that more than 80,000 cubic yards of debris have been removed from roads in Graves County in the first 30 days.

President Biden approved an increase in the federal cost share for tornado-related debris removal in Kentucky from 75% to 100% for a period of 30 days in the first 120 days of relief efforts. The commonwealth will determine which 30-day window will best suit the needs of the counties. 
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