FHLBank gives $5 million to tornado victims

MOSCOW, OH (FOX19) - The Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati came forward Friday to aid those who nearly lost everything in the March 2 tornado outbreak.

The announcement, unveiling a $5 million fund, was made Friday morning in tornado-ravaged Moscow on the four week anniversary of the touchdown.

Homeowners in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee who suffered damage can qualify for a grant up to $20,000 dollars toward fixing up or repairing the damage or toward buying a home.

For many in Moscow, the memories of the tornado are still fresh.

"It was like a bomb," Jack Holland said Friday. "I never heard a freight train."

"Loud noises and stuff like that never used to bother me, but boy now it does," tornado victim Angela Lanham said. "It really traumatizes me."

In the midst of the ongoing turmoil, tornado victims are clinging to whatever hope they can find.

"I love this place," Lanham said. "I was born here, raised here. It is a small community; everybody helps everybody."

The tornado destroyed Angela Lanham's mobile home leaving her homeless.  Now she is living with her daughter.

Lanham says she was blown away by the news she could rebuild her own home with the help of grant money

"I just couldn't believe it," she said. "Somebody was actually coming to help us because I didn't know what I was going to do."

She says the stress of the event has made it difficult to sleep and even eat.

"Every day it was just a worry, worry, worry and this would just help relieve some of the stress," Lanham said.

Like Jack Holland, her former neighbor, Lanham had been renting a mobile home and had no insurance for her things.

"It'll mean the world to me … being able to get a home of my own," she said. "To have something nice so I can stay in the community which I love so much."

It is not just the uninsured, however, that could use the grants.

"There's been a  lot of promises made since the tornado came through," homeowner Rick Beasley said.

Rick and his wife have insurance but say it will not cover all the damage and could use the grant to help fill in the gaps. They are not holding their breath, but are holding out hope for Moscow's sake.

"There's some people that could use it a lot more than we do," Beasley said. "We're hoping and praying it comes through, mostly for them."

The FHLBank is a wholesale lender providing housing finance and economic development products and services to 741 member institutions located in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Chartered by the U.S. Congress, the bank is one of 12 district cooperative banks wholly owned by its members and does not receive taxpayer dollars.

Tornado victims can submit their applications starting May 1.

For more information visit the bank's website.

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