OWENSBORO, Ky. -- The first checks are in the mail.
That's the word from state and federal officials who are coordinating disaster response and recovery efforts in Daviess, Crittenden and Webster, the three counties in the path of the January 3 tornadoes, storms and flash flooding. The financial boost comes just five days after the disaster declaration.
As of Saturday, 22 applicants for disaster emergency housing should receive a total of $19,140.52 when the mail arrives following the weekend.
To date, 483 applications have been made for disaster aid for all types. Of that figure, 202 have sought temporary housing assistance.
Residents who suffered losses in the storms became eligible for federal/state assistance January 10, the day President Clinton declared the counties a major disaster area.
"Many more temporary housing and direct grant checks will be going out daily from now on," according the W.R. Padgett, director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KyEM).
"Although relatively small in comparison to others, this still was a highly intense disaster," added Scott Wells of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "We have treated it with the same dispatch as a hurricane landfall or massive earthquake."
Residents who suffered losses in the disaster still can register for help simply by calling FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-462-9029 (for those with hearing or speech impairments, the number is 1-800-462-7585).