By JESSIE HORTON
ERATH COUNTY (July 13, 2015) — FEMA made it official last week, but on Monday during Erath County Commissioners’ Court, Toby Rice and other members of FEMA’s ground crew were present to get the process started.
“As of right now, we only have about 10 residents signed up through our disaster assistance program,” Rice said. “Our goal is to get everyone in the county with storm and flood damage from the storms on May 4 through June 19 registered.”
Rice told commissioners and county officials the dates for damage are limited to May 4 through June 19 and damage that occurred during storms outside those dates do not apply. This means damage that occurred in the Dublin and Lingleville communities during the hailstorm on April 26 is not applicable.
However, Rice and crew said that everyone with damage, even those with full-coverage insurance, should register with the FEMA program. He said being registered with FEMA for the damages makes it easier for insurance claims to be filed and also helps property owners when applying for various grants and loans to repair damages.
“What we ask is that anyone with any type of damage from these storms call the 800 number or visit the website and register. This doesn’t mean you’ll get anything, but it opens the process to see if your property is eligible,” Rice told those present from Dublin who expressed concern over the hard dates set by government officials.
Dublin City Administrator Nancy Wooldridge was at the meeting and said her town was in dire need of assistance as the April 26 hailstorm did a “catastrophic amount of damage to my residents’ homes and businesses.”
“We have homes with huge holes in the roofs from the hail storm,” Wooldridge went on to explain. “We didn’t have flooding issues like other places saw, but we had people with major damage to the insides because the rain just fell through holes in the roofs. I need to know if those people are going to be able to get some help. We won’t recover otherwise.”
Herbert Brown, commissioner for Pct. 2 – basically Dublin and Lingleville – said residents in the county had major hail damage from the April 26 storm and had no means of getting the damage covered or repaired before the next round of storms came through. Those residents are now looking at a long list of problems from all of the storms.
Rice said everyone with damage should come and register. Registration does not guarantee assistance, but he said if residents come and register they can then determine the best course of action with one of the FEMA crew members on staff.
FEMA has set up at Erath County Volunteer Fire Station (830A East Road. Use the door closest to the highway, EMS is on other end. Use the outside entrance, no need to go into fire hall where trucks are.) from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. today through Friday, and at Dublin City Hall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Thursday. It doesn’t matter where in the county you live, just call, go by or get online and register your storm damage from the May 4 – June 19 storms. If people cannot get to them, the FEMA crew can come to you, but the fastest way to get assistance is to register. Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or visit DisasterAssistance.gov for more information.