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FEMA

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. 

Updated Aug. 28 at 2:45 p.m. ET

As a major storm heads for Puerto Rico, the Department of Homeland Security and its Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday they will move $271 million in funds to support President Trump's border enforcement efforts.

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.

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.

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.

Miami Valley officials are only beginning to calculate the longterm impacts of the devastation from last week’s tornado outbreak. Key is an investigation by FEMA to determine whether Ohio is eligible for emergency aid.

Officials caution it’s a complicated process that will take time. To see it in action, WYSO’s April Laissle followed one FEMA team into a particularly hard-hit area of Trotwood.

At the Westbrook Village Apartment Complex, a group of FEMA investigators walk through muddy grass holding clipboards, taking stock of what’s left.

Special teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrive in Ohio Tuesday to begin assessing the damage from last week’s tornado outbreak.

The storm damaged thousands of homes and businesses across the Miami Valley and FEMA’s visit is a critical step toward securing federal disaster assistance, but officials say it could take weeks before any potential disaster aid comes to Ohio.

DeWine Seeks FEMA Aid For Tornado Victims

May 31, 2019
Celina Mayor Jeffrey Hazel, Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio First Lady address the media the morning after an EF3 tornado killed one resident and left 40 with uninhabitable homes.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Gov. Mike DeWine is requesting help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 10 counties that suffered damage from the tornadoes that ripped through Ohio earlier this week.

If they had known, they never would have bought the house on Bayou Glen Road. Sure, it was a beautiful lot, tucked in a bend of the creek, backyard woodsy and wild, the neighbors friendly and the street quiet. A little piece of nature just 20 minutes from downtown Houston. It was exactly what John and Heather Papadopoulos — recently married, hoping to start a family — were looking for in 2007. They didn't think much about the creek that ran along their yard, aside from appreciating the birds it attracted to the neighborhood.

César Díaz felt lucky that only a couple of leaks had sprung in his ceiling, even though Hurricane Maria tore the zinc panels off much of his roof. His real troubles began about a year after the storm, when a crew hired by Puerto Rico's housing department showed up to make the repairs.

"They weren't very professional," Díaz said. "They didn't wear gloves, and they asked if I had an extra piece of wood."

Within days, there were new leaks. Not only in the living room but in the bedroom, over his daughter's crib.

After Hurricane Maria hit, many people were left without access to water, food and power. But when food came, it raised a host of health concerns.

As food aid began to arrive last fall, Twitter was full of complaints from recipients and their families expressing shock that the contents of relief boxes appear to be stuffed with items like candy bars, potted meat and cheese crackers.

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