DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WEHT) The bill signed by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear allowing for $200 million in western Kentucky tornado relief was signed as tornado survivors continue applying for help through FEMA and the American Red Cross.
Some Muhlenberg County officials raised concerns over what they saw was a lack of help for those in Bremen, what about other hard hit areas in western Kentucky?
They’re still picking up debris and repairing houses still standing in Dawson Springs. Some residents like Debbie Futrell went to FEMA and the American Red Cross for help in repairing her damaged house.
“The kitchen is totaled, and it’s leaked in every room,” she said, explaining the tornado damage at the house she’s lived in for several years. Futrell says she got financial help from the red cross already and has yet to hear back from FEMA on her claim.
“It’s going to help with some repairs here at the house,” she said.
Some other Dawson Springs residents say they haven’t had any issues similar to what Muhlenberg County officials say was happening to Bremen area residents in getting Red Cross financial help. Misty Thomas of the American Red Cross says more than 5,300 people are getting financial help for tornado relief. Much of it for those whose home was completely destroyed or has major damage.
“That very targeted, designation, are for people who were rendered homeless. There is not a dwelling for them to go back. There’s completely homeless due to the tornado,” she said.
FEMA officials say more than $9.7 million in household grants were awarded statewide for uninsured or underinsured losses. Deanna Frazier of FEMA says some applications get rejected for various reasons, but people have 60 days to reapply after receiving rejection. People also have until February 11th to apply.
“It could also be that they did not provide the proper address of the primary residence that was affected. There could be a number of reasons that they could have been declined,” she explained.
Thomas also says people who’ve been rejected the first time for red cross assistance can reapply or ask for a reassessment of their home.
Both Red Cross and FEMA officials say groups do independent audits or reviews of their finances during disaster relief. Red Cross officials say those results are released once disaster recovery is done.
Thomas says the Red Cross recovery center in Dawson Springs will remain open through tomorrow.
(This story was originally published on January 13, 2022)