Cordova moves into new phase of recovery
by Jennifer Cohron
Jun 26, 2011 | 2320 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two months after the April 27 tornadoes, Cordova residents are still adjusting to a “new normal” and the city is preparing for the next phase of recovery.

Debris clean-up is continuing, the local Long-Term Recovery Committee has begun its work and disaster relief sites that have served residents since the storms are shutting down.

The resource center that federal officials were staffing at First Baptist Church has closed, and the city-run effort at the V.F.W. will follow on July 12.

The V.F.W., also known as the Cordova Activities Center, will be open for the next two Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fire Chief Dean Harbison said that supplies such as food, water, clothing and baby items are still available.

After July 12, the excess donations will be going to local churches to stock their clothes closets and food pantries.

“That way they can continue to help people in need within the community, and the goods will remain in the city,” Harbison said.

Harbison added that city officials will direct any new donations to established relief organizations and will also continue helping residents who have unmet needs.

“We invite anyone with unmet needs to come forward and contact us so we can get them some assistance,” Harbison said.

Local Salvation Army director Lona Courington said the needs of some storm survivors are changing as weeks go by.

For example, one client came to the Salvation Army Service Center recently looking for furniture because her new home was too small for the belongings she had left after the storm.

Another needed help with brake repairs because she had depleted all of her resources on shelter.

Salvation Army staff members are also referring people for counseling and helping them make contacts with FEMA caseworkers about unmet needs.

Courington said that the Salvation Army will continue to be a resource for storm survivors and all others who need help getting back on their feet.

“Salvation Army is here for anyone who qualifies for our program. We’re here. We’ve been here all along, and we’re always going to be here,” Courington said.