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July 12 is deadline for FEMA flood assistance

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Flood victims should call 1-800-621-FEMA to register for federal aid

By Linda Ireland

Athertonville residents were among the hardest hit during the May flooding; however, anyone who suffered loss or property damage during the storm is eligible for federal assistance.

FEMA representatives and Chris Jackson of LaRue County Emergency Management visited Athertonville Friday to assess damage along the Rolling Fork River and Knob Creek.

Jackson said about 12 houses in Athertonville were damaged when several feet of muddy river water poured in. One home on Mount Sherman Road was hit also by flash flooding.

A preliminary assessment showed 12 homes in Hodgenville flooded by storm water or damaged when sewage backed up in basements.

Hodgenville Mayor Terry Cruse and a pair of community relation specialists for FEMA will visit city residents known to be impacted by the flood later this week.

Cruse said houses in the Hamilton Acres and College Street areas suffered the most damage.

“I expect there may be others,” he said.

Assistance available

Individual assistance in the form of federal grants and low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration is available to LaRue Countians and residents of 78 more Kentucky counties.

The first step is to register by phone or online, said FEMA public information officer Michael A. Skeels. Residents may register at www.disasterassistance.gov anytime or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are staffed 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Residents must supply their Social Security number, contact for private insurance, the address of the damaged property, directions to the property and a contact number.

Between three and 10 days after registration, flood victims will receive a packet in the mail and be contacted by a FEMA inspector.

FEMA inspectors have identification badges, will not ask for a fee to inspect or personal information such as bank account numbers. They may take photos of the interior and exterior of the damaged dwelling as documentation.

The maximum FEMA grant is $29,900 per household after insurance and other assistance has been received, Skeels said. It can be used for a variety of needs, such as temporary housing, repairs and replacing damaged items.

The deadline to apply is July 12.

SBA loans are available for further needs related to flood damage. Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 with a low 2 percent interest rate for 30 years. Renters and business owners may be eligible to apply.

Skeels said residents affected by flooding should apply “whether they think they need it or not” as funding may not be available later. The loans can be used to replace items such as a computer or vehicle lost to the flood or repair damage due to mold that may appear later.

A Disaster Recovery Office will open in an upstairs office of the LaRue County Courthouse to assist residents with completing paperwork and answering questions.

Cruse said the office should be open June 14 according to information he has received. Skeels was unable to verify the date.

Washington County’s DRC office, the nearest office, opened June 7.

FEMA has issued more $12.1 million in assistance for Kentucky’s May flooding including $10.3 million in housing assistance.

For more information, call City Hall at 358-3832 or Jackson at 358-9903 ext. 1006.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency wants everyone who experienced property damage or losses from the May storms to register with FEMA for assistance. Even if you have reported damage to your local emergency management officials, the American Red Cross, or another voluntary agency you also must complete the FEMA registration process to be considered for federal assistance. Register online anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov.