Marshall County officials assess damage, hope to qualify for financial assistance

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Officials across the Tennessee Valley continue to assess the damage from flooding, and keep finding that as the water recedes, more damage becomes apparent.  At this point, county officials are making detailed reports of the damage, in hopes that the state and individual counties will qualify for financial assistance from FEMA.

Marshall County EMA Operations Specialist George Harwell says when a disaster happens there is a progression of responsibility.

"The first responsibility is on the local community, on the county, then on the state, as far as being able to assist with that.”

The federal government has put guidelines in place that says individual states must exceed a certain dollar amount of damage, before it is possible to seek federal assistance.

Each county and state must meet a certain threshold based upon population, before FEMA assistance can become available.

"For Marshall County, the threshold is probably somewhere around $335,000 so expenses, damages, have to be over that amount," says Harwell.

The state of Alabama must reach close to $7 million  in damage, and each individual county must reach a specific threshold to receive assistance.

"If we don’t get assistance, then the homeowner or business owner is kind of left to his own insurance, and whatever else support he can get, within his community," adds Harwell.

Regardless of whether or not the state and Marshall County qualifies for FEMA assistance, damage that poses a safety threat, and damages to roads will be taken care of.

Marshall County EMA officials ask that if you see storm damage, to please call them and report it. Officials have to provide information for preliminary reports as soon as possible. They can be reached here.