Left with tornado damage, Ala. town blaming FEMA

JAY REEVES Associated Press Published:

CORDOVA, Ala. (AP) -- Officials in the old Alabama mill town of Cordova say the money to demolish buildings damaged by tornadoes a year and a half ago remains mired in red tape.

Mayor Drew Gilbert says the Federal Emergency Management Agency is constantly seeking explanations and documentation, and holding up the process.

The town's main street looks about the same as it did the deadly tornadoes ripped across the southeast in April 2011, with battered red bricks and broken glass littering the pavement.

FEMA officials say they're only doing their job in Cordova, documenting damaged buildings and covering all the details before providing money to tear them down. The agency says there are historically significant structures that require careful consideration.