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President Trump approves request for disaster assistance

President Donald Trump speaking in 2017 just outside Harrisburg. Staff Sgt. Tony Harp/U.S. Air National Guard

Friday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that President Trump approved a major disaster declaration in response to the severe weather and tornadoes that occurred March 19, 2018.

The federal disaster assistance is designed to supplement state and local recovery efforts in Calhoun, Cullman, Etowah, and St. Clair counties. Public Assistance provides city and county governments assistance with debris removal, emergency protective measures and disaster damage restoration of infrastructure.

“The recovery process following a disaster is a long and tough road and I appreciate President Trump for approving this major disaster declaration request,” Ivey said. “This declaration will provide much needed assistance to Alabamians affected by the March 19th storms and will ease the burden on local governments as they continue the recovery process.”

“I cannot thank our federal partners enough for their support during the joint damage assessments as well as the constant communication as we awaited final approval,” Alabama EMA Director Brian E. Hastings said. “Recovering from disasters requires the whole community. Volunteers, first responders and local Emergency Management officials have done an exceptional job during the response phase and now we are pleased to have federal assistance to help with the long recovery process.”

Homeowners and renters in Calhoun, Cullman, and Etowah Counties are eligible for individual assistance.

Residents of those three counties can now apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and under insured damage and losses resulting from the March 19th storms.

Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses. Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may also be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and that do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

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Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures. The purpose of the program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.

Jacksonville, including the campus of Jacksonville State University, was particularly hard hit.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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