Obama offers disaster aid to Indiana counties hit by tornadoes

INDIANAPOLIS Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:51pm EST

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the economy after touring the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe facility in Prince George, Virginia, March 9, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the economy after touring the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe facility in Prince George, Virginia, March 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said six southern Indiana counties devastated by severe weather and tornadoes last week were eligible for federal disaster assistance.

Obama was responding on Friday to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels request for aid after strong storms and tornadoes hit the rural southern part of the state on March 2, killing at least 13 people.

One of the tornadoes, in Jefferson County, was classified as an EF-4, one notch below the strongest rating, and considered an extremely dangerous storm with winds of around 200 miles per hour, the National Weather Service said.

Daniels said in a letter to Obama on March 4 that the storms had taken a heavy toll on the rural communities including homes destroyed or damaged and the displacement of 1,200 Henryville, Indian students.

Earlier in the week, the federal government said seven counties of Kentucky also affected by the same storm system would be eligible for disaster assistance. The National Weather Service said 21 people died in Kentucky and the state says 23 perished using a different measure of storm-related deaths.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs, according to Daniels' office.

Individuals can apply for assistance by registering at www.fema.gov/assistance or by calling 1-800-462-3362.

(Reporting By Greg McCune)

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Comments (2)
stevechur wrote:
I have to wonder what a Henryville Indian student is and why there are 1200 of them in such a small town. I live in a small town of around 2000 in the northern part of Indiana, and was not aware that any small towns in the state had that many native Americans, or people from India.

I am guessing that no one bothered to proof read this poorly written article.

Mar 10, 2012 4:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xtian2012 wrote:
Disasters such as the recent tornadoes in southern Indiana have the potential to cause distress – like overwhelming feelings of anxiety or hopelessness, problems sleeping, and may lead to depression. Survivors in impacted areas (incl. children), loved ones of victims, and first responders are all at risk. We encourage anyone that needs help to call the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Counseling Line at 1-866-679-4631.

For residents in Indiana or outside of the region, the Disaster Distress Helpline is a new service funded by SAMHSA that offers 24/7 crisis counseling: call toll-free 1-800-985-5990 or text ‘talkwithus’ to 66746. Calls and texts are answered by trained crisis counselors from call centers located throughout the U.S. You are not alone!

Mar 10, 2012 6:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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