State, federal officials assess tornado damage

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on May 04, 2011 - 05:45 PM

Photo: From left, Duane Woodruff, construction analyst with the U.S. Small Business Administration; Kathleen Graham, FEMA representative, and Anthony Boller, FEMA Region III representative, discuss the process of receiving individual assistance with homeowner Donnie Collins. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

From left, Duane Woodruff, construction analyst with the U.S. Small Business Administration; Kathleen Graham, FEMA representative, and Anthony Boller, FEMA Region III representative, discuss the process of receiving individual assistance with homeowner Donnie Collins. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

State and federal officials assessed damage in Gloucester County on Monday caused by the April 16 tornado.

A team made up of representatives from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, FEMA, the Small Business Administration and local officials visited some of the hardest hit areas of the county to look at storm damage.

However, there is no guarantee that federal money will be provided to residents who suffered damage from the devastating tornado that cut a path of destruction from Coke through Ware Neck.

Larry Braja with Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s individual assistance office said Monday’s team was strictly evaluating whether individual assistance would be provided. "We’re going to see if there is enough justification to help residents," Braja said.

Anthony Buller, FEMA Region III representative, expected that the assessment would be completed by the end of the day Monday. However, Braja said that there is no timeline on those who are analyzing the assessments.

The officials were not looking at federal public assistance, because Braja said the criteria for that kind of assistance are far from being met in Gloucester. "We’re not really looking at the damage to Page Middle School today, even though it shows the overall impact," Braja told county staff in a meeting prior to touring residential areas.