Local News

Riegelwood Tornado Victims Approved for State Disaster Aid

Posted December 1, 2006 12:09 a.m. EST

— Residents of Columbus County who were affected by a tornado earlier this month in Riegelwood have been approved for $134,143 in state disaster aid.

Included in that total is more than $40,000 to help pay for funerals of those killed by the tornado.

Gov. Mike Easley approved a state disaster declaration, making grants available to help with items such as home repairs and funeral expenses In addition, the federal Small Business Administration approved a disaster declaration for low-interest loans to make repairs.

Under the declaration, homeowners can get grants of up to $28,200. Renters are also eligible for compensation for personal property damages. So far, 61 people have applied for state and federal assistance.

The Nov. 16 storm, with winds at an estimated 200 mph, cut a 1.8-mile path of destruction in the county, ripping through a cluster of mobile homes and an adjacent neighborhood of brick houses shortly after 6:30 a.m.

Eight people were killed and about 20 people were injured. County officials estimate about $500,000 in damages.

Volunteers have been in the area cleaning up from the storm. They expect the task to take about a month.