A disaster relief committee is being formed to assist the tornado victims in southern Pike County.
Officials say there were 12 homes destroyed or severely damaged with the tornado came through last month. Eight of those homes are not insured, but that doesn't mean they won't be getting any help.
Many people in Pike County may never forget November 15, 2006. That's when a tornado ripped through the community, leveling businesses, homes and the tallest water tower in the county.
Even though Pike County was declared a disaster, the residents there will get no help from FEMA because the state didn't meet proper requirements, but that doesn't mean they won't get any help at all.
"It’s mainly through the churches. Lawrence Bowden in Brundidge has got some of the churches organized, and I think they are putting in money. We’re asking the individual folks to also put in money, and maybe businesses and so on," said Pike County Emergency Management Association Director Larry Davis.
When the tornado came through here, weather officials say it was an F-2. Something that large destroyed nearly everything in its path and will take a while to rebuild. That's something no one wants to hear around the holidays.
"Most of them has families and it’s a big time of the year. Children sometimes don’t understand why folks can’t. That gives us a bigger reason to come together and help the community," said Davis.
So far many civic and faith-based organizations have contributed time and money to help with the displaced families, but emergency officials say this will be a long-term project to get everyone back on their feet.
It's not too late to join the committee. Anyone, any organization in any county can volunteer time or donate money. Just contact the Pike County American Red Cross for information.
The U.S. Small Business Administration will open a disaster loan outreach center in Brundidge for one day only. The center will give not only businesses, but also individuals the opportunity to apply for low-interest assistance with rebuilding their home or business.
It will be this Saturday from nine until three at Chito's Restaurant in Brundidge.
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