disaster relief | WOSU Radio

disaster relief

Seven months since the Memorial Day tornadoes left a path of devastation across the Miami Valley, some residents in Old North Dayton are struggling to return to normal and many homes that suffered damage in the storm remain covered with tarps or sit in disrepair.

After the Memorial Day tornado outbreak, many Old North Dayton residents donated to their neighborhood association instead of giving to regional or national groups such as the Red Cross or the Dayton Foundation.

It’s been almost seven months since an outbreak of tornadoes caused tens of millions of dollars in damage, displacing hundreds of people across the Miami Valley. 

Since then, an army of government agencies, volunteers and advocates have been working to help restore hard-hit communities and assist survivors.

One December event organized by two partnering churches was designed to provide a boost to storm-affected families ahead of the holidays.

People across the Miami Valley are continuing to clean up from the Memorial Day tornadoes. Among the strongest of the outbreak’s 15 twisters was an EF4 tornado that carved a path of destruction just north of downtown Dayton.

It hit Montgomery County’s Harrison Township especially hard, leaving almost 2,000 properties damaged. Now, six months after the storm, signs of recovery are visible in the small community. But for many Northridge residents, full recovery remains a far-off dream.

Sounds of construction fill the air in Northridge.

Nearly six months after the Memorial Day tornadoes, hundreds of people who sought federal disaster assistance continue to wait for final word on their applications. 

According to the latest Federal Emergency Management Agency data, 336 people across the 11-county disaster zone who applied for assistance are still working their way through the appeals process.

FEMA has already paid out more than $4.6 million in Individual Assistance grants. 

Relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas are hampered by the sheer devastation of Hurricane Dorian. Entire communities are gone and roadways disappeared, making it difficult for responders to even know where to look or go.

Greene County officials are continuing to contend with massive quantities of organic debris left behind by an EF3 tornado that touched down in the area on Memorial Day.

Nearly 150,000 cubic yards of debris has been removed from Greene County properties since the storm hit -- that's enough to fill about five Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson says the debris is being stored at two sites: the county’s environmental services center and Cemex Reserve, a public park that contains wetland areas.

Homeowners and renters affected by the Memorial Day tornadoes are invited to two special recovery events this week. The so-called Housing Recovery Resource Fairs aim to connect anyone still struggling with storm-related housing issues with assistance from FEMA, the United States Small Business Administration, state and county agencies.

Dion Green is a soft-spoken 37-year-old with short dreadlocks and a muscular build. He works at a men's homeless shelter helping the less fortunate.

In recent months, though, Green has been thrust onto the other side of crisis-solving. He has now found himself the one who is trying to traverse misery.

As cleanup continues around the Miami Valley from the Memorial Day tornado outbreak, some affected counties are detailing storm-related expenses for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The federal government green-lit assistance for four Ohio counties to reimburse costs related to debris removal, infrastructure repair and emergency response. The FEMA grant could bring millions of needed funds to hard-hit communities.

Several victims of the tornadoes that moved through the Miami Valley on Memorial Day have received notices from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that they were overpaid disaster relief funds.

The agency says a total of six individuals, so far, have received notices of potential overpayment.

FEMA inspectors conduct damage assessments in Trotwood, where several large apartment complexes were destroyed in the tornadoes.
April Laissle / WYSO

Tornadoes that destroyed and damaged hundreds of homes in western Ohio are complicating population counts for next year's Census.

Residents of some tornado-damaged properties in Harrison Township have issued words of warning to prospective looters.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Tornado cleanup continues in Harrison Township, where three twisters touched down on Memorial Day, leaving wreckage from one end of the township to the other.

Repair and cleaning efforts begin on a neighborhood damaged by a tornado storm system that passed through the area, destroying homes and cutting off access to utilities, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

Cleanup continues from Memorial Day tornadoes that pummeled parts of Ohio, including the village of Roseville, where Federal Emergency Management Agency will operate a disaster recovery center beginning Wednesday.

Additional Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster recovery centers are expected to open Wednesday in Beavercreek and Celina to assist people in Greene and Mercer Counties affected by the Memorial Day tornadoes. 

Another is expected to open soon in Eastern Ohio this week as well.
 

The centers will be staffed by federal experts from FEMA and the United States Small Business Administration to offer storm survivors assistance with temporary living expenses, uninsured home repairs, and other urgent needs.

The 10 Ohio counties impacted by the Memorial Day tornado outbreak are now eligible for federal disaster recovery aid. Dayton-area officials say the FEMA and other funding could play a crucial role in the Miami Valley’s ongoing recovery.

President Donald Trump issued a federal disaster declaration Tuesday, one week after Gov. Mike DeWine formally requested it.

The declaration means affected Ohioans are now eligible for aid through FEMA’s individual assistance, hazard mitigation, and disaster legal services programs.

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