FEMA to close Russells Point in-person recovery center


RUSSELLS POINT — It has been more than three months since severe tornadoes wreaked havoc on Russells Point and Lakeview in Logan County, and for much of the time since March 14, both federal and state emergency management personnel have been on the ground helping affected residents deal with the storm’s aftermath.

Even with the scars of the storms still visible in the form of splintered trees, portions of roofs covered in blue tarp or metal frames and signage still twisted and contorted, the recovery in the Indian Lake area has been ongoing, and as of Wednesday, that recovery was set to continue without the physical presence of FEMA personnel, as its disaster recovery center was set to close at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 26.

That announcement came at a media conference Monday, June 24, at the Russells Point Municipal Building. FEMA Region 5 Administrator Tom Sivak announced the pending closure while touting the work his agency has done in securing funding for families in the 10 affected counties since the federal disaster declaration on May 2.

“First, EMS approved nearly $3 million in grants to nearly 400 households,” he said. “These grants have been essential in helping families and individuals with home repairs, replacing essential items that have been lost and, most importantly, paying for that temporary housing.”

Of that $3 million, more than $2.6 million was allotted to families in Logan County, Sivak said.

“The disaster recovery centers have seen over 800 visitors to be able to focus on the initial road to recovery,” he said.

Ohio EMA Administrative Officer Jerry Mullins expressed appreciation for the collaboration they shared with FEMA and local agencies during this response.

“We know that the coordination between federal, state and local levels have been shown to be key in successful, long-term recovery efforts across the nation,” he said. “The Ohio EMA will be there to provide support to our local recovery partners through every step.”

Sivak noted that, while the physical disaster recovery center is closing, there is still time for affected residents who have not yet applied for assistance to be helped.

“If you haven’t already applied, please apply no later than July 1,” he said. “We want to make sure that any survivor that’s been impacted by this tornado can apply.”

Applications can be made by going to http://disasterassistance.gov, through the FEMA mobile app or by calling 800-621-3362.

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