County governments qualify for assistance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Times-Journal News Editor

In the wake of Hurricane Ivan, the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency has been flooded with phone calls from residents looking for everything from much-needed ice and water to a replacement for their TV lost in the storm.

While the agency can help with food, water and ice, electronics will have to wait.

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Many residents seem unsure about what help is and isn’t available.

Dallas County has qualified for Public Assistance while many counties to the south that were harder hit qualified for Individual Assistance.

What that means is the state and federal governments will help Dallas County governments recover losses from the storm, but individuals will have to rely on insurance or their own pocketbooks.

“Public Assistance is for governmental agencies to assist them to repair infrastructure,” EMA Director Brett Howard said. “It also helps the government recoup some of their losses they had for their response.”

The City of Selma Police and Fire Departments called in double shifts, as did other government agencies like the County Sheriff’s Department.

Cleaning up Ivan’s mess also meant substantial government cost for roads crews.

“Their overtime, equipment they had to use that they normally wouldn’t have had to use, it helps the cities and the counties recoup those loses,” Howard said. “A response like this is financially devastating.

There’s a lot of overtime.

You just don’t budget for a natural disaster.”