by: Jim Spiewak
City and county leaders say they’re closer to getting money from the federal government to help with the storm restoration.
However, it’s not as easy as just asking for it in a time of need.
There is a list of criteria both the county and state must meet before the feds can help. It can be tricky meeting all the criteria because the request is a joint effort between local, state and federal officials.
The road to federal reimbursement begins with a damage assessment meet certain thresholds.
The City of Memphis can apply if both of these things happen.
The cost to clean up Shelby County exceeds $3.3 million and a total of $9 million across the state.
“I’ve been told, even if it’s just Memphis, that we’re very close to the $9.8 million figure,” said Mayor Jim Strickland.
If that happens, FEMA agents would come to Memphis.
If they confirm the damage, Governor Bill Haslam could then request a federal disaster declaration.
Dale Lane, the head of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness said it could take days before we know extent of the damage and if we’ll reach the threshold.
“At this point, I would be guessing but I know this, we have substantial damage here,” said Lane.
But that would only cover government owned damaged property.