FEMA Assesses Damage From Gaylord Tornado
(CNN) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency assessed damage in Gaylord, Michigan on Wednesday.
The city was hit by an EF3 tornado last week leaving two people were killed, 44 others were injured.
FEMA spokesperson Mark Peterson says it doesn't determine whether or not the area should received federal aid that's up to the state to apply for it.
"There's no specific criteria that relates to individual assistance, our program that we're looking at here," said Peterson. "What we are looking at is, is the overall impact of such a severity that the community and the state cannot recover without federal assistance."
Peterson tells us FEMA will try to find an answer to that question over the next few days, but the clock is already ticking on applying for this federal assistance.
The state only has 30 days after the initial disaster to apply and almost a week has already passed.
"There is a timeline. The State of Michigan is aware of it, and they'll move as quickly as possible. That's why we're here so quickly after the storm, to make sure we understand the impacts as quickly as possible because we know people want to move on. They want to recover and so we want to make those decisions as quickly as we can so they can do that," said Peterson.
Peterson explained there is currently no FEMA assistance in place and if FEMA assistance is approved, it could cover what's not insured.
Staff with FEMA understand this process is not a quick solution to issues the Gaylord community is facing, but they made it clear you don't need to wait to start moving forward with recovery.
"Please don't feel that you need to keep damage in place. Take some pictures if you can, but it's not always necessary. We want you to move on getting to a safe, sanitary place to live and move on with the cleanup as quickly as possible," said Peterson.
FEMA crews will remain in the area for the next few days.
Afterward, their report of the damages will go to state officials.
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