Tazewell County alone accounts for about $18 million of the disaster expenses. That includes the town of Washington where more than 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed following the tornado. Dawn Cook directs the Tazewell County Emergency Management Agency. She says she feels more confident about FEMA approving the public assistance dollars now, compared to numbers from the first assessment two weeks after the storms:
“The roadways, the gutters, the curbs, the driveway aprons, the sidewalks, we hadn’t’ even taken into account that information in the first two weeks, because we were looking at debris. So I think we just have a better estimate on the range of destruction. Cook says if approved the state would be eligible for 75-percent of the costs for the debris cleanup and security needed after the tornadoes. Cook says even if the state gets the green light, that’s only the beginning of the process. She says each community would then need to go line-by-line with state officials to determine what costs are eligible for reimbursement.