FEMA opens Berrien disaster recovery center - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

FEMA opens Berrien disaster recovery center

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

NASHVILLE, GA (WALB) - Sixty Berrien County homes were damaged during recent storms, so officials are expecting a large turnout.

The arrival of FEMA agents was a welcome site after last month's heavy rains damaged hundreds of miles of roads and so many homes. Many people need help.

"We had a lot of devastation," said Michael Hand, EMA Director. "We've estimated somewhere around $2.5 million worth of damage at this point in time."

Now storm victims can visit the disaster recovery center, which has been set-up at Berrien County's Search and Rescue Building. They can apply for FEMA assistance, low-interest loans, or simply seek counsel on recovery. Officials hope for a large turn-out.

"Really, we're hoping for as many people that can get the message to try and show up. We're looking at anywhere from 50 to 60 homes that we probably had damage to, said Hand."

FEMA representatives say even if homeowners don't believe they sustained much damage, they should still register their application.

"Let's say you've registered and you find you've had some damage so you come and report it. Then, you go back home and found out later, 'Oh--I had more damage.' You can come back, re-visit, and then you can amend it," said Gene Kauffman, FEMA Public Information Officer.

Berrien's Disaster Recovery Center will only be open through Thursday. It will operate from 8am to 7 PM. Officials say the numerous opportunities for assistance make a visit well worth the time.

Because Berrien is a large, damage assessments are still being done. County officials anticipate the damage estimate will rise over the coming weeks.

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