Recovery centers open to flood victims - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Recovery centers open to flood victims

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Flood victims in two south Georgia counties can now apply in person for federal aid.  Disaster Recovery Centers opened this morning in Valdosta and Douglas.

Today, the Disaster Recovery Centers opened their doors to those in need.  Representatives will help home and business owners figure out what kind of help they're eligible for.

Those affected by flood damage can take advantage of the services of many agencies at the centers, including GEMA, FEMA, Public Health, DFCS, the Red Cross, and the Small Business Administration.

Gracie and Ronnie Wisenbaker were unsure where to turn when their home on Lake Drive flooded with more than two feet of water. "(We lost) our whole house," says Gracie.  "We lost all our floors, walls, kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, pool..."

After applying with FEMA over the internet last week, they decided to stop by the Disaster Recovery Center to see what other assistance was available. (Gracie) "I'm glad we did because we were able to talk with the people from SBA," Gracie says. 

The Small Business Administration offered the Wisenbakers encouraging news.  "What people may not know is it's not just for businesses--their low-interest loans are available to homeowners as well," says Public Information Officer Sementha Mathews. 

The Wisenbakers know the recovery process won't be quick or easy.  "They say, before we'll be back in the house, it will be three to four months. Now, 'recover'...I just don't know."

City and county leaders hope others will follow the Wisenbakers lead, and take advantage of all avenues of assistance.

The Disaster Recovery Centers at the Lowndes County Civic Center and the Weir Center in Douglas will be open Monday through Saturday of this week from 8 A-M until 7 P-M.  Other centers likely will open soon in other south Georgia counties.