The April storm damaged 213 homes and 15 businesses, displacing dozens of residents. The city is in the process of tearing down flood-damaged properties in an area just south of the Wildcat Creek downtown.
Haynes International, one of the city’s largest employers, sustained an estimated $3 million in flood damage during the April storm, and the federal Small Business Administration disbursed over $1 million in low-interest loans to homeowners after that event.
City and state officials declined to compare the severity of the two Kokomo disasters, but city officials said the cumulative effect of the flood and the tornadoes, coupled with high unemployment and a sluggish economy, means a long rebuilding process.
“[Kokomo] and its citizens will take years to recover from the financial, physical and emotional damage inflicted by the tornadoes,” city officials wrote in a request to the state. “Our community’s recovery process has been stretched beyond the limit …”
John Erickson, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, said disaster requests like the one filed by Pence Wednesday typically receive a response within 30 days, although sometimes the response is much quicker.
If the disaster request is granted, state officials could consider asking for similar aid for Grant, Daviess and Fountain counties.
Scott Smith, business editor, can be reached at 765-454-8569, email@example.com or on Twitter, @JasonSSmith1.