FEMA flood aid not offered

Published 3:20 am Wednesday, December 30, 2009

By By Lisa Tindell
Escambia County homeowners will have to make flood-related repairs on their own because damage did not meet a threshold for federal assistance set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Escambia County Emergency Management Director David Adams said the decision was based on pre-set criteria by the federal department.
More homes in Atmore were affected than any other area in the county, Adams said. However, the damage to those homes did not meet criteria set forth by FEMA guidelines.
Damage assessment teams were made up of personnel from FEMA, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and local agency and municipality officials. Damage assessments were conducted in Atmore, Brewton, East Brewton, Flomaton and rural Escambia County.
Although homeowners won’t be receiving assistance from FEMA, a second chance of sorts may be available soon.
Adams said he is optimistic about the SBA declaration.
For additional information on SBA loan procedures, log on to the SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov, or contact the Escambia County Emergency Management office.
The cost of the flood in the county and municipalities — including damage to roads and bridges, overtime by law enforcement and emergency personnel and damage to government offices — has been estimated at more than $5 million. But local governments are still awaiting word on whether FEMA help will be available to assist with those costs, Adams said.

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