WAPAKONETA — Three tornadoes touched down in Auglaize County on May 27 and FEMA and local EMA officials visited five residences Wednesday to conduct a preliminary damage assessment.
Damage assessment teams from FEMA, the Small Business Administration and Ohio Emergency Management Agency met with Troy Anderson, Auglaize County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management director, and visited the residences to assess the damage. FEMA conducted the assessments in Auglaize and Mercer counties Wednesday and will visit Miami and Darke counties today.
Cassie Ringsdorf, FEMA spokesperson, said the assessment is the first step in a federal disaster declaration process.
“We have to see and understand the impacts of the disaster first and the information will go to our partners at the Ohio Emergency Management Agency who can make a request for a federal disaster declaration request,” Ringsdorf said. If it is determined the losses are beyond state and local capabilities then the state may submit a formal declaration request to the FEMA regional office. FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security headquarters offices refer the request to the president.
Anderson conducted an original damage assessment from the tornadoes the night of the disaster and the following day as mandated as his responsibility as EMA director. The damage categories are affected, minor, major and destroyed.
“FEMA only looks at residential homes that were damaged that have primary living quarters, not barns,” Anderson said.
FEMA deemed a home and barn at 10140 County Road 33A as destroyed. The silo also was destroyed and debris from the home and barn were scattered and in piles on the property.
“When the tornado touched down, the home, barn and silo was taken out,” Anderson said. The homeowners hope to rebuild the home and barn if they are able to receive FEMA funding.
Homes at 10801 County Road 33A and 20619 Blankpike Road were deemed to have received minor damage with windows at 10801 blown out and roofing and sheeting removed. The Blankpike Road home had two by fours that went through the roof of the home into the living quarters.
A home at 10859 County Road 33A owned by Ginger Young was deemed as minor where debris was thrown into the home during the storm and windows and the roof was damage and trees were uprooted.
“We lost a total of five trees in this storm and I have lived here since 2009,” Young said. The home has an outbuilding that was damaged that will need to be repaired and their garage doors and family room also was damaged.
A mobile home at 16271 Boundary Road was categorized as affected where there were siding and roofing issues and a tree that came uprooted.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.