Carney: Delaware Likely Won't Qualify for Federal Disaster Relie - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Carney: Delaware Likely Won't Qualify for Federal Disaster Relief After Tornado

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LAUREL, Del. --- Delaware's governor on Tuesday said he's been told by emergency management officials that the state may not qualify for federal disaster relief following a tornado that damaged homes and buildings in Sussex County.

Gov. John Carney (D) said during a visit to a community near Laurel hit hard by an EF2 tornado that administrators with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and Sussex County's emergency management division believed too few buildings may have been destroyed to qualify for federal help.

"If you happen not qualify because you're one or two homes short then let FEMA make that decision but we'll put in an application in and see where it goes because these people need some help," he said.

The Laurel Fire Department said on Monday in the immediate aftermath of the storm there were at least a dozen structures that were seriously damaged by the tornado, which traveled more than 6 miles over the ground from an area west of Laurel to the Hardscrabble area southwest of Georgetown.

Joe Thomas with Sussex County's Emergency Operations Center said the threshold for federal disaster relief typically begins at 25 destroyed structures.

"We don't have 25 completely destroyed. We got some with some pretty significant damage," he said.

Thomas noted insurance on properties damaged by the storm could also be a factor. People who are interested in potentially applying for federal disaster relief as an individual can find more information on FEMA's website.

Nevertheless, Carney, who spoke with residents during his visit, said the state still intends to apply for federal help.

"We've got to try to do something for these folks...how would you like to be in their position?" he said.

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