Tuesday, April 13, 1999

Tristate tallies financial losses

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The tornado's financial toll on the Tristate became clearer Monday, as federal officials completed initial damage estimates and local communities began to calculate the costs of storm clean-up.

        Hamilton, Warren and Clinton counties suffered at least $5.7 million in uninsured residential damage, according to information collected by the U.S. Small Business Administration:

        • 130 homes were either destroyed or suffered damage so severe that they cannot be occupied. Estimated uninsured damage: $2.3 million.

        • 500 homes suffered minimal damage. Estimated uninsured damage: $3.4 million.

        Total residential losses will be much higher, officials said.

        Local communities began compiling their own loss estimates.

        • In Blue Ash: Ten businesses were damaged, and seven are considered destroyed, said Deputy City Manager Bruce Henry. The loss is estimated at $25 million.

        The residential damage totals included 53 homes in Blue Ash. Two were considered destroyed. Six homes sustained heavy damage and 45 sustained heavy to moderate damage, Mr. Henry said. That loss is estimated at $1.8 million.

        • In Montgomery, building inspectors had counted 29 homes by Monday that would have to be condemned and demolished, said Wayne Dunn, chief building official for the city of Montgomery.

        • In Symmes and Sycamore townships, Hamilton County building inspectors determined that 130 buildings with severe damage that would require major repairs or condemnation.

        About 25 of the 130 damaged buildings will have to be reinspected to determine if they can be salvaged, said County Building Commissioner Tania Edwards. Hamilton County commissioners waived fees for nearly 300 buildings which had to be inspected in the wake of Friday's killer twister.

        • In Warren County, more than 100 homes sustained nearly $2.2 million in damage, said Frank Young, director of the Warren County Emergency Management Agency.

        That figure includes $1.5 million in damage to homes in Deerfield Township, where officials estimate five homes were destroyed, 15 to 20 homes suffered moderate structural damage and 50 to 60 homes had minor damage.

        It also includes damage to 39 homes in Hamilton Township, where officials estimated the loss at between $700,000 and $800,000.

        Gov. Bob Taft's administration on Monday asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to survey the damage and determine whether tornado victims are eligible for grants and other assistance.

        FEMA officials will arrive today and team up with state and local authorities to begin their damage assessment. .

        Mr. Taft also authorized the Ohio National Guard to help local law enforcement.

        The 324th Military Police Company from Middletown activated 67 National Guardsmen in 13 Humvees Sunday to patrol Blue Ash and Montgomery.

        Kevin Aldridge, Perry Brothers, Mark Curnutte, Dan Klepal, Lisa Donovan and Michael Hawthorne contributed.


Treasures recovered in debris
- Tristate tallies financial losses
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