Flood assistance offered in Kenton
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:06 pm
By: John Brannon, Staff Reporter
By JOHN BRANNON
A state and federal Disas-ter Recovery Center — one of 32 in Middle and West Tennessee — has been set up in the former Kenton High School gymnasium to provide assistance to flood victims.
The center opened at noon Sunday and will close at 7 tonight. It will reopen at noon June 1 and close at 7 p.m. June 3, according to center manager Phillip Price of the Atlanta office of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“We are here to assist applicants in registration and completion of registration packets,” he said.
The agencies include FEMA, Tennessee Emer-gency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Tennessee Department of Human Services.
The disaster to which they are responding is, in FEMA’s words, “severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds and tornadoes (that) occurred April 30, 2010, and continuing.”
“We’ve had numerous applicants (already),” Price said. “We’ve had several whose homes have been destroyed by floods and some with major water damage and some with minor water damage.”
For those who qualify, grants are available from FEMA and low-interest loans from SBA.
Bob Klebs, a FEMA mitigation advisor, said SBA has available small business loans that cover losses of real estate and personal property.
“The interest rate for this disaster is 2.75 for home owners,” Klebs said. “We cover business loans as well, at a 4 percent interest rate. These are for people who do not have credit available elsewhere.”
He said the loan limit to help build, repair and replace real estate is $200,000, with $40,000 for contents, meaning personal property.
“Our objective is to help the homeowner (get the property) back to the condition it was before the disaster,” Klebs said. “People who rent are also eligible for loans to help repair personal property.
“Businesses can apply for economic injury assistance. We also have (assistance for non-profit organizations). We had a church in here yesterday.”
FEMA spokesman Mar-vin Davis of Jackson said those whose properties were damaged by storms after May 2 but before May 18 may also apply for assistance.
He characterized the Kenton center as one of 32 mobile disaster recovery centers in Middle and West Tennessee. “They move from site to site,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for them to be there awhile, go somewhere else and come back a week or two later. It depends on the amount of traffic they get while they’re there.
“We’re trying to go where the need is greatest. We’re going to be here as long as necessary to serve that need.”
Davis said that in Tennessee, in the last three weeks, FEMA has provided $115 million in housing assistance, rental assistance and home repair and over $13 million for other personal property.
“Over 52,000 people have already registered for assistance. Normally, by this time we would have county figures. But we don’t yet,” he said.
He confirmed that appointments aren’t necessary to visit one of the centers, but anyone interested should access the Internet (www.FEMA.GOV) or call 1-800-621-3362 to initiate the assistance process.
“It only takes about 20 minutes,” Davis said. “An inspector will come out, look at your damage and you’re in the process. You should expect a check within three to seven days.”
Published in The Messenger 5.25.10