It’s been five days since an EF-3 tornado devastated Gaylord.
On Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency began assessing the damage and total loss to multiple homes and businesses.
Alongside FEMA are other preliminary damage assessment teams, including Michigan State Police and the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division.
FEMA officials say Wednesday marks the first step in the process of seeing if they can provide federal assistance to the people of Gaylord. They plan to tour the hardest hit areas in Gaylord over the next few days.
FEMA spokesperson Mark Peterson says if the area qualifies for federal assistance, it would mean a lot for the families affected.
“We’re just out here trying to get the best picture we possibly can, to see the real impacts that have happened in this community, so we can make our case to get some more assistance in here for these people,” said Peterson.
Over the next few days, FEMA will determine if the damage is beyond state and local resources to handle. If so, the state will have 30 days since the tornado struck to request federal assistance through a Presidential Disaster Declaration.