South Georgians receive flood assistance - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgians receive flood assistance

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July 23, 2005

Sylvester-- The Small Business Administration is making it a little easier for victims of flash flooding in Worth County. Hurricane Dennis dropped several inches of rain on the city of Sylvester. Now, some financial assistance will help residents with the clean-up.

"I been out here 33 years and this is the first time water came in the house. In 94, it didn't even flood in the front yard," says Mary Roddy. Mary Roddy's home on West Priest Street in Sylvester was severely damaged. "Well, I had three bedrooms, a living room, dining room and kitchen. Everything was destroyed," says Roddy. Flood waters destroyed everything but the clothes on her back. "Makes you crazy. You can't think. You just lost everything," says Roddy.

Right across the street, her sister Shirley Drayton lost everything as well. It's an indescribable feeling. "It felt like just everything is destroyed and I couldn't take it," says Drayton. She's still amazed at how high the water came. "I went in the house and came out and it was halfway up to the window of my truck," says Drayton. But both are thankful for a chance to get some relief from the Small Business Administration.

"That made me feel a whole lot better. Every little bit helps," says Drayton.

SBA is offering citizens low interest loans to help repair their homes and citizens that don't qualify for the loans are still receiving individual assistance. "The maximum amount on the individual assistance is three months the hud rate or rental rate of our community which works out to about $1,605.00," says Mayor Bill Yearta. Sylvestor Mayor Bill Yearta calls it the start of a long clean-up process.

"It's going to take a community effort and a South Georgia effort to try to put these folks lives back together," says Yearta. Many residents are seeking to rebuild their flooded homes.

"Might take me about two or three months, maybe longer," says Drayton. Every little bit helps, but for some, the wait to come back home may be a little longer. "I don't know. Maybe if I can get some more help, maybe I can come back in," says Roddy.

Other counties declared a disaster area from damage include Brooks, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, Thomas, Tift and Turner counties. To assist disaster victims, SBA opened two temporary loan assistance centers. One is at the EMA building in Moultrie. The other center is at the Sylvester Fire Department in Worth County.

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