The Unmet Needs Committee is expected to meet today to discuss what the victims of recent deadly tornadoes actually need in the way of help. Storms ripped through Bradley County on April 27, killing nine people and leaving more than 500 homes damaged or destroyed.
Overall, the relief effort is an ever-changing process, according to the Cleveland-Bradley Emergency Management Agency.
Damages to area homes was reported at $46,666,481. This figure doesn’t include business, utilities damaged, schools or debris removal which is ongoing at this time.
“Twenty-four Bradley County workers have been hired and trained to monitor debris and brush removal from the areas devastated by the April 27th tornados. True North Emergency Management, the company contracted to manage the debris removal announced the hiring at Monday’s Bradley County Commission meeting. Debris removal crews are concentrating on the hardest hit areas with nine teams,” reported Dan Howell, executive assistant to Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis.
Debris removal is in Day 4, and officials remind residents to separate vegetative debris from construction debris.
“FEMA guidelines require it to be placed on the road right-of-way but not on the roadway and kept out of the drainage ditch if possible. Crews cannot remove debris from private property,” Howell noted. FEMA spokesman Greg Hughes said this morning that 1,203 families have visited the DRC in Bradley County. That figure was recorded at the close of the business day Monday.
EMA officials are now progressing to longer-term housing needs for disaster victims. The FEMA Disaster Relief Center continues to take applications from victims of storm damage. The DRC is located at 10 Church Street and houses Red Cross, Salvation Army officials as well as Tennessee Department of Human Services representatives. A second DRC is being planned to open at the Walmart South location on Dalton Pike. The new DRC is expected to open Wednesday at noon and hours of operation will be announced.
Officials are also finding a need for child-safety restraint systems.
“The Bradley County Health Department reports there is a need for new children’s car seats to replace those blown away or damaged by the April 27th tornados. Health Department Director Eloise Waters reports that several storm victims have come by her office in need of child car seats. Waters says about 50 high-back booster car seats are needed and about 25 convertible car seats. If you can provide a new child’s car seat for a disaster victim please contact the Health Department at 728-7020,” Howell said.
The Long-Term Disaster Recovery Committee established by the Mayors’ Coalition reports they now have a large warehouse available to accept and store building supplies. The building materials will be used to help storm victims repair their damaged homes. Any kind of building supplies, from 2 X 4s, roofing, sheet rock to concrete block will be accepted. To donate building supplies to the long term recovery effort contact Annie Kinworthy at 476-6947.
A report of the Unmet Needs committee is expected to be presented during a Wednesday Emergency Operations Center briefing.