NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- More than 1,500 applicants have registered for disaster aid and $211,695 in temporary housing grants disbursed to 253 storm victims as a result of last month's rash of tornadoes in Tennessee.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has also issued nine checks totaling $412,900 to homeowners and renters who suffered severe losses in the storms. The low-interest SBA loans will permit the storm victims to replace or repair their damaged homes and personal property.
Together the federal disaster funds, including emergency grants and loans to individuals and families for housing only, total $624,595.
Three-fourths of all disaster assistance applicants are from Madison and Montgomery counties, hardest hit of those in the paths of the January windstorms, said John White, Jr., director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).
In Madison, more than 650 have sought some form of aid, he said, while nearly 500 have registered for assistance in Montgomery County. In all, 608 of the 1,534 applicants for assistance have registered for temporary housing assistance.
Paul Fay, Jr., the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official who coordinates federal disaster recovery efforts, termed the response gratifying. "Citizens in need have registered without delay," he said, "and we're doing our best to meet their emergency needs also without delay."
White said the processing of individual and family grants, under another FEMA assistance program administered by the state Department of Human Services, is now in force and soon will produce funds for tornado victims who may fail to qualify for other assistance.