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Crews assessing flood damage to see if state qualifies for financial assistance

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 9:31 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The state’s emergency management agency has 30 days to submit a major disaster declaration to the federal government. This is how the state will get financial assistance for the damage caused by historic flooding on Wednesday.

State EMA officials said it will be about two to three weeks before they know exactly how much damage this week’s flooding caused, but they said the weather event was catastrophic.

Alabama EMA director Brian Hastings said they are waiting for each county to send in their total damage numbers, but early reports show that some cities alone already have over $500,000 in estimated damage. Once the state has photos and locations of all the damage, it will be assessed and then sent to the federal government for consideration. Hastings says it is hard to tell if the state will reach the financial threshold this early on.

He said areas like Hoover and Pelham have a lot of personal damage to homes and buildings, but areas like Marshall County saw a lot of infrastructure and roadway damage.

He said the state has to have $8.1 million in infrastructure damages to get financial assistance, but getting grant money for personal damage is a different category.

“Individual assistance, there are no thresholds,” Hastings said. “So, it’s more of trying to get an assessment of the impacts economically, humanitarianly, and the human narrative of the suffering that our population is going through with having four disaster seasons.”

Hastings said he does not know if FEMA will come to the state to help with recovery.

If you have damage from the flood waters, reach out to your county EMA to be added to the damages list.

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