Tuscumbia leaders hope for help as cleanup costs rise


Tuscumbia street department workers continue their on going efforts to clear tornado debris from the city. (WHNT – Carter Watkins)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) - As cleanup efforts get underway in Colbert County from Monday night's tornado, officials are keeping a close eye on costs.

Tuscumbia is crunching numbers, hoping federal assistance will be available for their already tight budget.

As professional crews start the process of removing trees off of homes along High Street in Tuscumbia, street department crews continue their work.

Since Monday night’s EF1 tornado struck, city employees have worked with little rest.

“Everybody has shifted into whatever we can do toward cleaning up our neighborhoods and getting things back to order,” said Mayor Bill Shoemaker.

While his employees are on the streets, Mayor Shoemaker has kept a close tally on the rising costs of cleanup.

According to emergency management officials, Colbert County must show at least $190,000 in expenses related to the storm before they ask for help.

That number rises to just over $6 million in cumulative damage across the state before the governor can ask the federal government for reimbursement funds.

Shoemaker hopes they can reach the threshold.

“Without overtime, and if we didn’t work overtime, our costs would be already budgeted,” explained Shoemaker. “Where our additional costs are coming in is because our guys have worked through the day and night.”

Mayor Shoemaker says once the numbers finalize, if they don’t reach the assistance mark, the city will have to tighten its belt even more to absorb the storm expenses.

Colbert County Emergency Management officials are keeping up with the total costs of storm cleanup and rebuilding of the power grid.

They could possibly pass on preliminary costs to the state in the next few days.

Trending Stories