"Our entire economy is gone, and it's like they're just doing nothing," said Gilbert.
FEMA spokesman Danon Lucas said that's not true.
"I know the city looks at it as delays, but we have been working through the process that's required," he said. "This doesn't happen often. Demolition like this isn't a regular occurrence."
No other Alabama city has had the same problem since the twisters, Brown said. While it took about a year to approve the demolition of the high school in the northwest Alabama town of Phil Campbell because of historical considerations, Cordova is in a league of its own, she said.
"I can't blame them for being frustrated with FEMA," she said.