LTRO help going into ‘hibernation’
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Mar 10, 2013 | 551 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Long-Term Recovery Organization, established just weeks after April 2011’s deadly tornadoes, is finally being “hibernated,” according to its director.

After being the go-to for help with virtually any storm-related problem for nearly two years, the work has been done for recovery, cleanup and provisions for victims affected by the deadly April storm and another on March 2, 2013.

The March storm caused more than $4.5 million in damage compared to the April 2011’s estimated more than $50 million.

The deadline for aid was announced in September 2012.

“We are in the process of finishing the final home build by LTRO and its many partners. All we need is a break in the rainy weather to complete yardwork and get a certificate of occupancy,” Jim Polier, executive director of LTRO, said.

Polier was among 38 applicants to pursue the directorship or case manager supervisor positions. A board of community residents received the blessing of the city and county mayors to help rebuild Cleveland and Bradley County. Nine people died during the April storms. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and thousands damaged.

A U.S. Forest Service retiree and a veteran of two branches of the military who played a key volunteer role in the immediate response to the severe weather events of April 27, Polier was named recovery leader by the Long-Term Recovery Organization board.

“It is in my heart to help the people,” the new administrator said after being selected.

Lisa Mantooth was chosen to aid Polier as the case manager supervisor.

According to Polier, Jesse Scruggs and family lived in Bates Pointe, just off Bates Pike.

The area was one of the hardest hit subdivisions.

Scruggs will soon take occupancy of her new home located on Ash Drive, according to Polier.

“LTRO’s bank account will still be active and the 501 (c) 3 will remain in place in case of future declarations from the governor or the president,” said Polier.

Essentially, the work is done for now but the perpetual fund is in place.

Many unmet needs early on were met through donations of cash, services and goods … all through LTRO and partners such as Habitat for Humanity, Men and Women of Action, Bradley Baptists Disaster Relief and many others, according to Polier.

“From my standpoint, we should be finished by the end of March,” Polier said.

“We want to recognize the outpouring of help from so many organizations, individuals and just people from across the country who came to help us rebuild,” Polier added.

“A big thank you to all (thousands) of people who helped,” Polier said.

According to notes provided by Allen Mincey of United Way, 11 homes were fully built, more than 30 repaired, Whirlpool provided appliances for more than 60 families and 144 families worked with LTRO.

Mincey said more than 35,000 families or individuals received assistance on unmet needs after the storm.