Cordova, AL – The Alabama mill town looks largely the same today as it did when tornados rolled through and killed approximately 250 people nearly two years ago. The fenced-off downtown area is still littered with broken glass and bricks. Some of the buildings are roofless and too “rickety” to enter, according to The Blaze.
Residents are allegedly fed up with all of the government red tape that has caused a one-block section of downtown to remain sealed off by a chain-link fence. Cordova city officials reportedly feel that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is to blame for the lack of recovery in the small town. The funds which local officials say they were promised to tear down the severely damaged buildings has not yet arrived.
When officials from the Alabama town reportedly meet a request for historical documentation or photos relating to the damaged buildings, FEMA then reportedly makes new requests. A revolving door or FEMA workers allegedly cause yet another hurdle to get the Cordova downtown area unlocked and open for business.
Mayor Drew Gilbert had this to say about FEMA’s involvement in the tornado recovery project:
“It’s very frustrating. You would think it’s been touched and seen now by everyone who needs to touch and see it.
Cleanup after the series of storms in adjacent towns where damaged homes and businesses were primarily new is almost complete. A FEMA official issued this response to the Associated Press when questioned about the recovery problems in Cordova:
“This project involves demolition of multiple historically significant structures and requires that FEMA consider all pertinent environmental and historic preservation laws before funding the project.”
The town’s only grocery store and a convenience store were destroyed during the massive tornado. Cordova Fire Chief Dean Harbison stated that FEMA was helpful at first, but is now slowing down the recovery process, the Huffington Post notes.