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Shelby County will be one of 33 counties in Kentucky to receive federal aid to clean up after last month's windstorm.
Local Disaster and Emergency Services officials said the county will receive $154,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) because of the downed trees, roof damage and other destruction caused when the remnants of Hurricane Ike brought 70-mile-per-hour winds to the county on Sept. 14.
“I am pleased that these Kentucky counties that were so severely affected by the devastating winds that struck Kentucky will be able to receive much-needed federal assistance as they recover from these terrible storms,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement..
Charlie Frazee, director of Shelby County's DES office, echoed Beshear.
“This will really help us financially with some of the expenses the county had in dealing with the wind storm,” he said.
He said he estimated damages to the county from the windstorm are estimated at $150,000.
“And that is just the expenses the county incurred, that is not counting damages sustained by individual homeowners,” he said, adding that FEMA grants do not usually cover homeowner damages.
“The exception to that was the tornado that came through here in February,” he said. “Then twenty families got the maximum amount given to a homeowner [$28,000].”
The breakdown of the grant to county agencies is the following:
• Convenience Center: $70,000
• Shelby Energy: $30,000
• City of Shelbyville: $15,000
• Shelby County Fiscal Court: $35,000
• Shelbyville Fire Department: $1,500
• Shelby County Fire Department: $2,000
Frazee said that although the grant amount is adequate for damages incurred it is somewhat less than the grant the county received from the tornado damage.
“The county got thirty-nine thousand dollars, and Shelby Energy got about eighty thousand," he said.
Frazee said a county is not limited to how many emergency grants it can receive each year but that it is unusual to receive two in one year.
“There is a procedure to be followed to obtain the grant,” he said.
Tthe county judge executive and that mayor must both ask the governor to declare the county a disaster area, then the governor must make a recommendation to the president of the United States.
“The President can go with the recommendation or not; he has the final approval,” Frazee said.
He added that the pile of debris at the convenience center from the windstorm is huge.
“I don't know how much it weighs, but it is two hundred feet long and thirty feet tall,” he said.
To get rid of it, workers must cut it down to size.
“They will have to chip it up and haul it to the landfill. It will be a lot of work. That is one thing the grant money will go for, the extra equipment and paying for the overtime for the crews.”
Counties receiving FEMA grants
Ballard, Boone, Breckenridge, Bullitt, Caldwell, Calloway, Campbell, Carlisle, Carroll, Crittenden, Daviess, Fulton, Gallatin, Graves, Hancock, Henderson, Hickman, Hopkins, Jefferson, Livington, Lyon, Marshall, Meade, McCracken, McLean, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Oldham, Shelby, Trigg, Trimble, Union and Webster.