Bartow, Gordon counties not eligible for FEMA aid after tornado - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Bartow, Gordon counties not eligible for FEMA aid after tornado

It's been one week since parts of Bartow and Gordon counties were hit by a tornado that had winds of up to 160 mph.

The Red Cross estimated that 250 homes in the area were damaged.

Bartow County's interim Emergency Management Agency Chief, Craig Millsap, said the area had about $73 million in damage.

But, Millsap said, that estimate includes damage to both insured and uninsured property owners and that in order for an area to qualify for FEMA aid, it must have a certain amount of damage to uninsured property. Millsap said this area does not qualify.

"Is it disappointing? Obviously, yes," Millsap said. "It would always be good to get these people the help they need. I think, unfortunately, people are under the impression that anytime there's something like this, FEMA money is going to come flowing in. Unfortunately, there's not enough money to go around like that."

Still, the area has been getting help from thousands of volunteers, something that homeowner Calvin Reneau said he is grateful for.

It's hard to say, 'Thank you,' because you think thank you's not enough, and there's no words in the vocabulary stronger than, 'thank you,'" Reneau said. "And I'm saying, 'thank you to everybody.'"

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