Temporary FEMA center opens in New Albany to help flood victims
A temporary FEMA disaster recovery center opened up Monday in New Albany to help families and business owners recover from February’s flooding.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- A temporary FEMA disaster recovery center opened up Monday in New Albany to help families and business owners recover from February’s flooding.
In early May, federal aid became available for flood victims after President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for Indiana. In the last week, around 1,300 Hoosiers have registered statewide with FEMA, according to spokesperson Troy York. And as of Monday, FEMA was rapidly approaching $1.5 million being approved and awarded.
“There was some substantial loss in this area,” York said. “We warn people that FEMA can’t put you back 100 percent the way you were before. But we can certainly help you get well started on that road.”
A recovery center is already established in Utica. But York said FEMA sets up “roving centers” to make sure they reach everyone.
“It makes it a little more convenient for people by bringing it closer to where they are,” he said.
Through Wednesday, counselors will help people register and navigate the process of paperwork and viable options for reimbursement.
“They need to bring invoices and bills and receipts for things they’ve already expended,” York said. “They need to bring their insurance information. They need to bring proof of ownership for their residences and leases if they’re renters.”
The federal assistance can help cover the costs of home repairs or replacements for furniture, appliances, etc. The federal aid can also cover costs for car damages or hotel expenses.
“We don’t want people thinking, 'Well, it’s been so far away. I’m more or less back together. I’ve absorbed the cost, and I don’t want to bother anyone,'” York said. “We don’t want anyone to think like that. We’re here to help them. They’re entitled to that.”
If FEMA cannot cover everything, counselors can refer people to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which is also on site. And don’t let the title fool you. The SBA offers disaster recovery funds for more than just small business owners.
“The assistance comes in the form of long-term, low-interest affordable loans,” said Q Mackey, who works for the Office of Disaster Assistance with the SBA. “And most of the loans do go to homeowners and renters.”
A homeowner could be approved for up to $200,000, a renter could see up to $40,000, and a business owner could receive up to $2 million. You have up to 30 years to repay the loan with an interest rate of 1.8 percent for homeowners or renters and an interest rate of 3.5 percent for businesses.
Mackey said SBA representatives have processed around 100 applications and approved around $250,000 so far.
The disaster recovery center is located at the Pine View Government Center, 2524 Corydon Pike in New Albany. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Wednesday, May 23.
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