Daviess Among Counties Seeking FEMA Assistance for Tornado Cleanup

Daviess County is one of six counties that the state is seeking FEMA assistance for in the wake of last month’s tornadoes.

Indiana governor Mike Pence has sent in a request for disaster assistance for residents in Boone, Daviess, Fountain, Grant, Howard, and Tippecanoe counties who were affected by the November 17th tornado outbreak across the state. This request is part of the appeals process after FEMA denied a previous request made by the state for disaster aid to Howard County alone.

Pence says he is staying committed to helping those Hoosiers that were devastated by the storms. He says the aforementioned counties have the greatest potential to receive federal disaster aid under FEMA’s guidelines.

Now the National Weather Service confirmed that 28 tornadoes touched down statewide back on November 17th, which makes that day the second largest tornado event ever recorded in Indiana. 46 of the state’s 92 counties reported damage due to tornadoes and/or straight line winds and more than 1,600 structures across the state were damaged.

John Erickson with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security says the original request was denied because FEMA decided that Howard County did not have enough uninsured losses to warrant federal aid. He says the state is hopeful that including more counties in the appeal will show FEMA the large number of people impacted and the high amount of damage done by the storm.

The new request says the tornado that hit Washington and the surrounding area was an EF-2 with wind speeds between 115 and 135 miles per hour. The report states that the tornado traveled nearly 3 miles along the ground and was 125 yards wide. 112 homes were damaged by the storm and 33 of those were completely destroyed. On a different note, the appeal also points out additional hardship in Daviess County after the recent snowstorms where the county received about a foot of snow.

Erickson says there is no established timeline for a response from FEMA. He says the state is hoping for the reply to be fast and in their favor.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security is continuing to put together a request for public assistance for cities and counties to recover the costs of repairs and storm cleanup. Erickson says the state is still gathering reports for that and they are not certain when that will be filed.