City and County leaders hoping for FEMA help - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

City and County leaders hoping for FEMA help

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - The morning of February 29, 2012 will be one that many people in Harrisburg remember for a long time to come.

And now it could take a long time for the city to pay all the bills mounting up from the deadly tornado.

"If you want to count all of the manpower, everything that we've done from the morning of the disaster until now, it's just astronomical," said Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg.

Which is why he and other city officials along with Saline County officials sat down on Tuesday afternoon to go over there bills with IEMA and FEMA assessment teams.

"We're looking at damages that the city has incurred because of the tornado," said FEMA Public Information Officer Sam Ventura. "Like debris removal, damage to buildings and emergency services they had to use to close roads. Or the police and fire fighters they had to use to help people."

It's a figure that Mayor Gregg says his city doesn't come close to having in their coffers.

"I just hope that we get this designation because it's huge. It deals with several facets of our community. The infrastructure needs that we have, that's in the millions of dollars. Along with the businesses is in the tens-of-millions of dollars."

The FEMA assessment teams are fanning out across all five counties that were affected by the tornado, gathering as much information as they can to be considered for public assistance.

"It's going to take the better part of this week to make sure they've got all their figures together. And then we'll make sure the state has all of that information, so that they can present it to the governor," said Ventura.

"The governor will then look at it all and make his decision whether to ask for a public assistance disaster for these five counties we're looking at."



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