Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom Tuesday morning signed a local disaster declaration for Hopkins County, citing damages from Friday’s tornadoes and the storms which swept through Hopkins County as the cause.
The designation states the county “experienced tornadoes, high winds, fallen trees, flooding and water damages that have caused widespread and severe damage as well as loss of property to the County and its citizens.” The declaration states damages can be and are not limited to “damaged homes, buildings, roads, bridges, parks and playgrounds; which have severely damaged the County due to the extraordinary high winds and heavy rains.”
The County judge said the damages were primarily in the one area of the county, where three homes pretty much destroyed. Some barns were also reported to be in the storm and tornadoes’ paths.
The county has been working to help haul out large amounts of lumber, removing downed trees and fallen branches caused by the tornado and recent storms. Some roads were reported to be under water and personal property also sustained some flooding, according to Newsom.
In the disaster declaration, the county judge stipulates the county’s emergency management plan has been implemented and authorizes use of all available public resources in the county and cities within the county to help cope with the disaster.
Local grants coordinator Beth Wisenbaker is looking into funding sources, potentially some FEMA funding, that could help individuals recoup some of their losses and would allow the county to recover some of the expense of the clean up efforts.
“There was no loss of life or no one was seriously hurt that we are aware of, and we are grateful for that. Other counties around suffered a more serious damages and loss. We did not have as much flooding here, but some roads were under water and we do have some here who have lost their homes and had other damages. We are doing this to try to help them get started again. We are just trying to help folks through the declaration and by applying for things to try to get the county back as much as possible,” Newsom said.
The local state of disaster spans from Nov. 4, 2022, until Hopkins County Commissioners Court votes to discontinue it. The Commissioners Court is expected to review the designation at their next regular court session.