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April 5 Bollinger County tornado damage

Deadline Given to Bollinger County Tornado Victims

The Long-Term Recovery Committee for the tornado that devastated communities in Bollinger County on April 5 has set a date of August 15, 2023, for all individuals who were impacted by the tornado to submit a claim or register their intent to submit a claim. This includes people who seek reimbursement for repairs or assistance with insurance deductibles they have already paid. Those seeking financial assistance must contact Catholic Charities at 573-335-0905. Individuals who have already contacted Catholic Charities and been given a case number do not need to call again.

Following a natural disaster, a Long-term Recovery Committee(LTRC) is usually formed that includes faith and community leaders, social service organizations, emergency personnel, and organizations that can provide funding to help those impacted. The LTRC for Bollinger County includes representatives from many organizations. Some that are on the committee include: Bollinger County Health Center, Glen Allen Village Board, Catholic Charities, First Call For Help, United Way of Southeast Missouri, East Missouri Action Agency, Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, Crader Distributing, Bill Peters Hardware, Bank of Missouri, Peoples Community Bank, Lutesville Ford, Bollinger County Sheriff’s Department, Bollinger County Emergency Management, Patton Lion’s Club, and area churches.

The committee corresponds via email as needed and meets monthly to review cases as presented by Catholic Charities, which is providing case management for victims of the tornado. The LTRC wants to give financial assistance to the families and individuals who need it. However, only four families have submitted requests that include required documentation for assistance. The LTRC has earmarked funds to reimburse insurance deductibles while setting aside funds to assist those who had no insurance.

The committee has given priority to funding projects related to health and safety first, such as roofs and air conditioners. Families with any repair claim related to the tornado must submit at least two estimates to Catholic Charities for the LTRC to review. Juanita Welker, Administrator of the Bollinger County Health Center, chairs the LTRC and explains, “The committee is eager to help the tornado victims, but we need to hear from them. We are being conservative with funds, knowing we have nine families whose homes were completely destroyed. We are helping with immediate needs, keeping in mind this is a Long-term Recovery Committee and needs will continue well into the future.”

Only the LTRC can distribute funds. Payments will go directly from the recovery fund to contractors and repair companies. Although recovery funds have been established at The Bank of Missouri and United Way of Southeast Missouri, these organizations cannot give out money. They simply are collecting and holding it for the LTRC to distribute. #BOCOstrong