FEMA Recovery Center Open in Lake City
By: Yaremi Farinas
The storm is gone and people hit hard by the extent of cleanup. but help is on the way.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened five disaster recovery centers around north florida.
People were in tears today when they were talking to fema specialists about what they are going through.
We met a couple that lost both their home and their business. Now they are reaching out to get help from FEMA.
"They are 70 and 63 and now they have to start all over again," said Toni Hansard.
For the past 18 years Toni Hansard's parents have lived in o'brien, thats in southern Suwannee county. This is what's left of their home after it was under water for about four days.
"This is a picture of my Nany who is my dad's mother and is was up on the wall. The water was coming in so fast theta we were just grabbing so this was just left, but when we got back in here to clean everything out I actually found it in the washing machine," said Hansard.
She said her parents had no flood insurance because the area isn't a flood zone.
"Not only is the house gone, but the business is gone. We have no way to make a living," said Hansard.
Her family owns a business called Scorpion Airboats. They use to build the airboats in a shop right next to the house, but now it's impossible to run a business with a wrecked shop.
Her parents went to the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Lake City to find out more on what kind of help they can get.
"Especially after a disaster that people have been through, things can be really confusing and it's really about clarifying," said Mary Walker.
Walker who is the Clumbia County FEMA Public Information Officier. said workers at the center can answer questions about applying for help. Whether residents are eligible for grants, unemployment payments or other relief programs. Representatives of the Small Business Administration are there also.
"They make longtime low interest that can be paid off over up to 30 years. It's to repair and replace your home, business and help you get back on your feet in the long term," said Walker.
Even though everyone has to apply online, some said it's nice to have someone listen to what they are going through.
"it was a lot to go see somebody. At least somebody knows they're out here and at least somebody knows that they need help," said Hansard.
The Lake City center is located in the Westfield Square shopping center at 484 southwest commerce drive.
They are open seven days a week, from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m.
FEMA has set up centers in the following cities:
Live oak, Fl.
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