Persistence pays off with FEMA - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Persistence pays off with FEMA

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) - The clean-up for many storm victims is far from over. "We had 52 homes that were effected and addressed, " said Sylvester Code Enforcement Director Angel Gray.

And the piles of damp carpet and moldy insulation show just how bad some residents got it. "In some areas they received three to four foot, and some areas they had three to four inches. Some mobile homes received the duct work damage," said Gray.

"Our next step with the city is to go back and make sure the homes are repaired to standard." A task that may take a lot longer for some homeowners who found out they were denied federal help.

But Federal Emergency Management representatives say this shouldn't stop them from continuing to pursue their help. Some denial letters were given to applicants who needed to give more information or make a simple corrections to their applications.

One was simply an address mix up. "Some people had name misspellings. Or the street numbers of their address didn't match the one the inspector had," said Gray.

 For other applicants, it came down to the figures. "The amount of damage was not as substantial as the homeowner may have thought," said Gray. But those residents still have options. "If they were denied funds or resources which I have not heard many have, than they have the write to appeal," said Gray.

Applicants only have 60 days from the date of the denial letter to appeal. They have to explain in writing and include any additional documents or information that proves why FEMA's response was wrong.

"They have the right to appeal. They have the right to say I was displaced or whatever and FEMA goes back out and reevaluates,"said Gray. A right some may have to exercise in this economy to be able to undo what inches of heavy rainfall did.

Time is running out for people to apply for federal help. Storm victims now have until June 22nd. Anyone who sustained damage to their property during severe weather from March 26th through April 13th can apply by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.

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