Rep. Sewell, others provide Dallas County disaster recovery update
SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell and Dallas County officials held a news conference Tuesday morning to update residents about recent disaster relief and recovery efforts following the Jan. 12th storms.
In the weeks following the tornado, the Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to cover 75% of the cleanup, with the remaining being covered by the city. Unfortunately, even with the split, the city was not able to afford to pay for all the cleanup.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell and other Alabama lawmakers then asked President Joe Biden to agree to cover 100% of the cleanup.
“After all, many of our municipalities simply can’t afford the local match. President Biden heard our cry, just as he did very quickly in declaring a disaster declaration, we heard that He has given us the 100% for public assistance,” Sewell said Tuesday.
Sewell and others urged residents to apply for federal public assistance.
“That’s assistance to our state, our county, our city, and nonprofits for public infrastructure that was damaged during the storm,” Sewell added.
The deadline to apply for FEMA individual assistance is March 16. Individual assistance provides grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can apply for disaster assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov by calling 800-621-3362 or using the FEMA App. The FEMA disaster declaration fact sheet can be viewed here.
City leaders thanked Rep. Sewell for fighting for Selma, saying their city will come back even stronger when they recover from this storm.
“This is not a sprint to repair Selma and for Selma to recover. This is not a sprint. This is a marathon,” Selma City Council President Billy Young said. “If we remain diligent, and we do what we’re supposed to do, and if we work together in sincerity, we will win and we will come out stronger and better.”
The 100% coverage agreement for clean up costs of debris is good for a 30-day period and applies to the state, city, churches and certain non-profits.
Residents may also qualify for federal assistance if they have damage from the Jan. 12 tornado. More than 6,000 properties were either damaged or destroyed in the storm.
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