Federal Officials Okay Individual Aid for Tornado Victims in Northwood, N.D.

September 17, 2007

Federal officials have approved individual aid to residents of Northwood, N. D. to help them recover from an Aug. 26 tornado that killed one person, injured 18 and left much of the town in ruins, Gov. John Hoeven and the state’s congressional delegation said.

State officials have been pushing for individual assistance, saying many of the approximately 950 people in the Grand Forks County community lack enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding.

Damage to public and private property has been estimated at between $30 million and $58 million by the Red Cross, Hoeven said Thursday.

About 190 forms showing $3.5 million of uninsured or underinsured losses were collected from residents and sent to FEMA’s regional office in Denver, Hoeven said.

Officials said 40 percent of the homes in the city were damaged, including 22 that were destroyed.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said the processing of applications would begin Friday.

“This has been a very significant effort by the congressional delegation and the governor,” said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. “This in no way will make people whole but it will help.”

President Bush approved a disaster declaration earlier for public buildings and infrastructure.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers individual aid of up to $28,200 per household to help people find a place to live while their homes are being fixed. The aid includes rental assistance, temporary housing and some repairs or replacement of property, officials have said. It also paves the way for low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration.

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