FEMA Assists Storm Victims - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

FEMA Assists Storm Victims

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LAFAYETTE, Tenn. - FEMA opened disaster recovery centers in five counties in Tennessee Monday.

About 10,000 people have signed up for federal aid.

A preliminary estimate of residential tornado damage in Macon County is $78 million.

Since President Bush declared Macon County a federal disaster area, representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been in the county to help victims sign up for disaster aid.

"I felt the air come into my house," said Donna Manier. "And I felt it sucked it out. It took my breath and I couldn't breathe."

Close to 200 people have signed up for help at a mobile unit outside the National Guard Armory.

"You have nothing. You have to start with help," Rose Geruk, who is related to Manier.

FEMA also has crews going door-to-door to alert people about how to sign up for federal assistance.

Once the sign up is complete, FEMA will send an inspector to assess the damage.

Thirteen people died in the county. Four other people are in critical condition.

About 430 homes were damaged with more than half uninhabitable, according to the county emergency management director.

Hardin, Macon, Madison, Shelby, and Sumner were declared disaster areas.

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