Cleanup continues in Eutaw months after tornadoes, storms

The city of Eutaw has been hit by three tornadoes in the last year, so when the latest weather event fizzled into wind and rain, residents let out a huge sigh of relief.

No matter where you look in the Greene County town, there’s still evidence of storm damage. Downed trees, blue tarps atop houses, debris piles and even untouched ruins still litter the landscape.

“I think we are recovering from the Jan. 12 storm pretty well,” said Eutaw employee Corey Martin. “There is still some stuff on private property we have been working very closely with (The Federal Emergency Management Agency) and (U.S. Rep. Terri) Sewell’s office to make sure that is addressed.”

Rural areas often take longer for recovery than in urban areas like Tuscaloosa or Birmingham. The biggest reason? A lack of employees dedicated to the task.

“In Eutaw we don’t have a large public works crew like Tuscaloosa or anywhere else would,” Martin said. “A lot of recovery efforts have been focused on Selma and Autauga County, because honestly they needed it more at the time.”

Around 55 properties in Eutaw were damaged Jan. 12, and the deadline for FEMA assistance applications is approaching.

“President (Joe) Biden and FEMA were able to give us a 30-day window where we were able to request 100% reimbursement on public assistance,” Martin said. “After March 18, it will go to the standard reimbursement of 75% FEMA, 12% state, and Eutaw will be responsible for the remaining percentage. We want to make sure our resources are used appropriately so we can maximize getting reimbursed at 100%.

Eutaw’s FEMA Disaster Recovery Center is closed as of Friday.

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