Baxter Springs Residents Disappointed by FEMA News

Published 05/09 2014 08:45AM

Updated 05/09 2014 08:48AM

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. -- Baxter Springs held a town hall meeting Thursday night for victims of the recent tornado. The residents of Baxter Springs will not be receiving federal aid from FEMA. According to the Kansas emergency management director, Baxter Springs did not receive enough tornado damage to receive FEMA money.

This news now leaves many uninsured and under-insured families wondering what to do next?
"After the damage assessment, we determined that the extent of our damages didn't meet the magnitude to have the governor request federal aid," said Jonathan York, Kansas Emergency Management.

According to Jonathan York, who is from the Kansas Emergency Management Office, Baxter Springs did not have enough destruction. He says the city received just under $1 million in damage.

"For public assistance, it is a dollar amount. Almost four million dollars worth of eligible damages and expenses related to the storm," said York.

A town hall meeting was held in Baxter Springs Thursday to discuss options for families who may be uninsured.

"The SBA's coming in as far as helping the business and the residents that's concerned. There will be no help there from the city as far as our losses, as far as our cable and different things like that. We did have some damage to buildings and stuff like that, but we have insurance. But it doesn't cover our cable lines or anything like that to my knowledge at that time," said Randall Trease, Baxter Springs Mayor.

A representative from the Small Business Administration has now set up local offices in Baxter Springs to assist tornado victims who are uninsured or under-insured.
"You need to come see us whether you are uninsured, under-insured, or even if you are insured. It's better to have the disaster loan, I call it a resource in your disaster tool box," said Yolanda Stokes, Small Business Administration.

Stokes also recommends people who are waiting to receive word from their insurance companies explore their options with the Small Business Administration.

"You don't have to wait for your insurance to clear, a lot of people are trying to figure out if their insurance is going to cover their damages. Go ahead and apply for the loan, if you find out you don't need it in the end, you can cancel the loan. If you find that you don't need as much as we have approved for you, you can ask for a little less," said Stokes.

The SBA will be located at the Baxter Springs Chamber of Commerce Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Saturdays 10 a.m. to  3 p.m.

(KODE, Joplin)

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