Federal Disaster aid is welcome - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Federal Disaster aid is welcome

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Flood victims in 17 south Georgia counties can apply for assistance from the federal government to help with the clean up. Local governments in 18 counties will also be eligible for help. The help will include everything from grants for home repairs to money to pay for debris removal and infrastructure repairs.

Some homeowners in the Radial subdivision are still throwing items out. The Butler family has ripped up their hard wood floors buckled when they got an inch of floodwater inside their home, and the bill for the clean up could be hefty. They're happy help paying that bill is on the way.

Flood waters that invaded the Radial subdivision weeks ago have finally dried up, but what's been left behind is a mess for homeowners who had water in their homes.

"We still have the den to clean up which is the garage, we still have to clean that up, we still have to take the tile up off the floor and then we have to take some of the walls out you know where the water went," said Betty Butler.

The bill for the clean up will be hefty especially for those like the Butler's without insurance. "I just have fire and theft, we don't have flood insurance," said Butler.

President Obama's disaster declaration will make available rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable, grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance, along with grants to replace personal property. For some homeowners they're breathing a sigh of relief.

Colquitt County EMA Director Russell Moody says during the flooding 225 Colquitt County roads were closed. Ten are still closed today and the county continues to find expensive problems.

"Every day we're finding new spots so the number keeps increasing," Moody said.

It will also help local government haul away a lot of the flood and storm debris and the cost of rescuing individuals stranded when waters crept up quickly.

"It's a big relief for us because this is a major expense for Colquitt County and without the help it would be a tremendous burden on Colquitt County to try to get these roads back together," Moody said.

FEMA has not announced where they will set up assistance centers yet. For now those in need of help can call 1-800-621 FEMA during business hours.

In the declaration there's also money for businesses who were forced to close their doors because of flood waters and money for farmers and aqua culture operators to cover production losses.

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