FEMA won't aid north Ga. storm victims - New York News

FEMA won't aid north Ga. storm victims

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GORDON COUNTY, Ga. -

One week after a tornado devastated parts of northwest Georgia, many families have been left with nowhere to turn for help. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will not provide aid to the victims.

Eric Lawler feels like he's left with nothing. The roof and the second floor of his Sonoraville house were destroyed by last week's tornado.

Like most storm victims here, he has relied on the help of volunteers, and the kindness of people he doesn't know to get by. But he feels burned by the fact that the federal government has offered nothing.

"It's a real crying shame. I spent 8 years in the military and I was willing to die for my country. And I come home and our government seems unconcerned about our own people, but we're more concerned about what everybody else is doing," Lawler said.

Daren McFarland's home now lays in a million different unrecognizable pieces next to Highway 53. On Thursday, state workers cleared away some of the debris. But McFarland is stunned that federal money is not being used to help people the tornado turned homeless.

"I'm sure there's someone that's sitting in the house that's damaged right now, that doesn't have power, that's running off a generator and doesn't have anywhere else to go," said McFarland.

Viewer photos: Tornadoes, severe storms in Georgia

Many people in the area believe the federal government will eventually step up and do something, but FEMA told FOX 5's Chris Shaw that is not going to happen because the damage is not bad enough. The storm left fewer than 600 uninsured buildings damaged and the damage to the public roads and utilities was did not approach $13 million.

While FEMA is not assisting, there could be other assistance from the federal government. The Small Business Administration is now looking into whether or not they will provide access to low-interest loans to businesses and homeowners in their area. They're researching right now to see if there is a need, what the need is in this area, and they hope to know if the next few days if the loans are available.

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