Is This New York and New Jersey's Fate?
November 21, 2012 • 10:30AM

Does the Obama regime's bureaucratic, blatant disdain for the well-being of the people of a small Alabama town hit by an April 2011 tornado spell out the fate of the people of New York and New Jersey hit by Hurricane Sandy?

An Associated Press piece printed today in the Washington Times under the headline, "18 Months Later, Alabama Town Still Waiting for FEMA," paints a picture of not benign, but malign neglect:

CORDOVA, Ala. Main Street in this old mill town looks about the same as it did the day after tornadoes killed about 250 people across Alabama a year and a half ago: Battered red bricks and broken glass litter the pavement, and the buildings still standing are rickety and roofless.

The entire one-block downtown, still deemed unsafe, remains sealed off by a chain-link fence. City officials blame the Federal Emergency Management Agency, saying the money to demolish skeletons of the old buildings is mired in miles of red tape.

"When one request for photos or historical documentation is met, FEMA makes another," the mayor and others in this town of 2,100 say. One crop of [FEMA] workers is replaced by another, forcing locals to constantly explain their problems to new people.

"It's very frustrating," said Mayor Drew Gilbert, a 25-year-old Cordova native who served on the City Council before taking office this month. "You would think it's been touched and seen now by everyone who needs to touch and see it."

On April 27, 2011, dozens of tornadoes ripped across the southeastern U.S., spawned by freakish weather. Hundreds of people were killed, and thousands of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed, causing more than $1 billion in damage....

"This project involves demolition of multiple historically significant structures and requires that FEMA consider all pertinent environmental and historic-preservation laws before funding the project," the agency said in response to questions from The Associated Press.

Yet the process has been baffling not just for local residents, but to the head of historic preservation for the state, Elizabeth Brown....

Many people left town for work in metro Birmingham or nearby Jasper before the twisters, and there are even fewer jobs in Cordova now, aside from schools, a bank, a pharmacy and a health clinic. The town's sole grocery store was wiped out and has yet to reopen; a convenience store near the battered downtown block has closed, too.

Cordova Fire Chief Dean Harbison, who also serves as the town's recovery coordinator, said FEMA was helpful at first. "They've provided us some money," Chief Harbison said. "But as far as recovery, they've slowed us down."