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Northport city leaders approve $500K for storm damage repairs

A special called meeting will be held to discuss the flooding damage in Northport
A special called meeting will be held to discuss the flooding damage in Northport
Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 10:21 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2021 at 5:46 AM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Northport city leaders voted just yesterday to approve more money to help with flood damage, caused by Tropical storm Claudette. The Northport City Council approved an additional $500,000 Tuesday to go towards flood repairs. They previously approved $750,000, and now they’re up to $1.25 million set aside for this.

That takes care of city roads, water lines, sewer lines, storm sewers, damaged culverts, but not personal property. The funding source is coming from 2021 Northport first fund created to help the city deal with rainy days, thanks to the one-cent sales tax increase in 2019. The Tuscaloosa County EMA updated the process of declaration of disaster in yesterday’s meeting.

They’ve completed the initial assessment of flood damage reported; however, if there’s not a total of $7.5 million in damages on the state level, the possibility of getting FEMA is out for Tuscaloosa County. Northport city officials are reaching out to federal representatives on the congressional level for assistance.

Compassion Coalition, made up of churches in the area, have found shelter for some of the families still without homes since the Red Cross location has closed.

The City of Northport’s special called public involvement meeting about flood damage started at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Northport City Hall after the 12 p.m. city council meeting.

Northport’s administrator said they’re undergoing individual structure assessments to determine if it’s in a floodway, and if each property can be saved and brought up to zoning code or not. “We know that there is a humanitarian need of how quickly people can move and change and respond to the needs within the community itself. We are trying to be thoughtful and give grace and work with the individual tenants,” said Glenda Webb, Northport City Administrator.

On Friday, Alabama EMA state crews from Clanton assessed flood damage starting in Northport, then they made their way to the rest of Tuscaloosa County. The state does a visual validation report to verify damages or find additional damages.

State crews said they should be back sometime this week to deal with the public infrastructure side of things, since it was strictly residential damage they reviewed for possible FEMA help Friday. “What we are doing out here is just one little piece of hopefully assistance that we will be able to get to them to help them with their recovery. The citizens are supported. We like when there’s federal assistance to help them, but that’s not always the case, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to get some type of help,” said Lisa Castaldo, State Individual Assistance Officer.

A determination on a possible recommendation for federal assistance could take about 30 days if approved before it reaches Governor Kay Ivey’s desk.

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