Missouri Governor Makes a Trip to Caruthersville to See the Recovery Efforts Underway

 APRIL 24, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:30 P.M. CST

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. -- Weeks have passed since the storms blew through Caruthersville and recovery efforts continue to be their main focus.

"Having been here before, I can tell you it's a much better picture than it was. Cleanup is underway and power is being restored to homes," says Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, who was in town Monday afternoon to see the recovery efforts for himself.

Dozens of mobile homes have already arrived in Pemiscot County to serve as temporary housing and one resident was able to sleep in his new home for the first time Sunday night.

"I'm really getting over the tornado stuff and I appreciate the trailer they gave me to live in until I get everything cleaned up, and so I can live my life and take care of everything I've got to take care of," says Billy Cobb, a Caruthersville resident who is already living in the temporary housing.

According to FEMA officials, some of the other residents who have registered with FEMA should be hooked up as early as the end of this week. The manufactured homes not only give the residents a place to live, but they including dishes, pots and pans, pillows, flash lights, and even a can opener.

"Some residents have lost everything that they have built their entire life and are starting from scratch. We want to assist them in that entire process, even if it is providing them with pots and pans and so forth," says Amanda Johnson, a Public Information Officer for FEMA.

There are three types of units available: a mobile home, a park model, which is slightly smaller, and then the travel trailer. The location of resident and their status determines what type of model they will receive. Once they are inspected, they are then placed on the resident's property.

The governor was very positive about the rebuilding and repair efforts in the town and was touched by the community's ability to pick up the pieces and start over.

"I'm very inspired by the people of Caruthersville. They want to rebuild their community and they're already focused on rebuilding their lives after a terrible natural disaster.

FEMA Contact Information :

Toll Free: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)

Website: www.fema.gov