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EMA seeking aid for derecho, heatwave recovery

| June 22, 2022
This home in Gnadenhutten was among those damaged during the derecho that blew through the area early last Tuesday. (Photo by Julie Klaserner)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 22, 2022) – The Tuscarawas County Emergency Management Agency is trying to access state and federal aid following last week’s storms that toppled trees, damaged homes, and left thousands without power.

The agency has asked municipalities to tally the damages they incurred in the aftermath of the derecho that brought wind gusts of up to a hundred miles an hour and during the heatwave that followed. Director Alex McCarthy says the collective total will determine whether the county qualifies for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program.

“We need to be able to show uninsured losses to public property – township, village or county property – across the county that meets 4.1 times our 2020 Census, or for easier terms about $383,000 of damage” 

He says the cost of debris cleanup on the roadways and overtime for first-responders count toward the total.

“Then there’s other things. Like if there are rural electrical cooperatives, it’s what costs did they incur to re-establish electrical service.”

The county isn’t eligible for the program that provides direct assistance to households which is based on the number of homes destroyed during a weather event. 

“There’s not going to be any state of federal assistance in terms of financial support for the homeowners who’ve been impacted by this storm, but I know that there are a lot of elderly people who have trees down on their properties or properties where insurance might not be able to cover certain things. We’re trying to see what faith-based groups can come into Tuscarawas County and perhaps help on a volunteer basis.”

The county commissioners have declared a State of Emergency in the county so McCarthy’s office can begin the process of requesting assistance.

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