FEMA Tours Clovis

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) visited Clovis today to see the tornado damage firsthand.  Soon FEMA may be sending some federal funding to the hardest hit homeowners.  NewsChannel 10's Tina Berasley reports on the visit.   

Kim Pease and his FEMA team have wrapped up their tour of the hardest hit neighborhoods in Clovis.  He says a damaged area must meet many different criteria before it is considered a "federal disaster zone."

"What we are attempting to do today is document the damage that's been done.  The number of homes that were destroyed, the number of homes that had insurance and several other things go into the final calculation," says Pease.

The teams rated every home and put them into categories of damage, from destroyed to only in need of small repairs.  Now they will pass the information along to Governor Bill Richardson's office, their regional director, and finally to Washington where President Bush could sign a declaration in just a few days.

The Clovis City Manager, Joe Thomas, says federal funding will be essential for people looking to rebuild what the tornado tore down.  Already pledged state funding will only cover public projects. 

"A lot of the homes are in depressed areas where people may or may not have insurance, so the ones that don't will have nothing unless were able to get the designation," says Thomas. 

If the area is determined to be a federal disaster zone, then the first step will be a more detailed assessment.  Inspectors will go house to house determining how much each homeowner could receive. 

FEMA has not given the city any indication as to just when Clovis could receive the federal funds.  The agency is expected to release more information on their findings Wednesday.