ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Limestone County EMA Director Rita White says the numbers from last week’s tornados continue to climb.
“The damage to the power system has doubled from our earlier estimate,” White says. She tells WHNT News 19 the damage to the county’s electrical system alone exceeds $3 million dollars.
White says a total of 745 homes throughout Limestone County suffered some degree of damage, from very minor to total destruction. Her damage estimate to family dwellings currently stands at $1.25 million dollars. Broken down, White says:
- 33 single family homes destroyed,
- 72 mobile homes destroyed,
- 64 apartments destroyed,
- 77 single family homes suffered major damage,
- 25 mobile homes suffered major damage,
- 368 single family homes suffered minor damage,
- 106 mobile homes suffered minor damage.
City of Athens spokesperson Holly Hollman says as of 5 P.M. Monday, approximately 1,400 customers remain without power, down from a high of over 16,000 one week ago. Most of the outage is west of Athens where almost 200 power poles were downed by the storm.
“FEMA and State EMA went with us through Athens today to look at the destruction,” Hollman says. She adds the officials will survey damage out in the county on Tuesday as well as looking at the extensive damage to utilities in the county.
White confirms a FEMA representative was in the Athens area Monday surveying damage with regard to debris removal. She says rumors that FEMA had opened a disaster assistance office in the Athens area are untrue.
“We’ve got to secure office space for them to work from,” White says. She estimates it may be another week before the FEMA office is up and operating in Athens and Limestone County. A location has yet to be announced.
White says residents with damage can pre-apply for FEMA assistance by visiting their website at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
The American Red Cross has set up a disaster relief center at Friendship Methodist Church on Lucas Ferry Road.
Free meals, hot showers and laundry service is now available at Seven Mile Post Road Church.
Free meals and supplies are also available at Clements Baptist Church on Highway 72. The church is also providing free day care services this week and will make a decision later this week whether to continue the service longer.