FEMA opens in Lee County
By: Dorothy Sherman
SMITHS STATION, AL – It’s assistance that FEMA will be offering to severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding victims in Lee County. Wednesday afternoon FEMA opened the Disaster Recovery Center at the Smiths Station Government Center to help storm victims like Kenneth Williams who said his home was totaled from the storms last week.
“It really is a struggle because I’ve never been through a devastation before. So, it’s kinda like it’s a day at a time trying to make it through,” Williams said.
Last week a disaster declaration was requested by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and signed by President Obama after storms ripped through parts of Alabama including east Alabama and damaged homes leaving victims recovery mood.
“I thank God for Crawford Baptist Church and Red Cross for providing hot meals while I’m trying to clean up to get to my house. It took about three days to be able to ride back to my house to get to it,” Williams said.
FEMA workers said you must register online or over the phone if you are seeking federal assistance. No pictures of the damage are needed, but when registering it is helpful to have your social security number. If you do not have access to a phone to register FEMA said they will have some phones at the Disaster Recovery Center.
For those who are not eligible the U.S. Small Business Administration offers low interest loans for disaster assistance they too will be at the Disaster Recovery Center.
“For homeowners it’s…2.118, on the high end it’s 4.375. So, they’ll qualify for one or the other interest rate,” John Lopez with the U.S. Small Business Administration said.
The Disaster Recovery Center will be open until it is no longer needed, which could be days or weeks. FEMA workers said the center will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, but times are subject to change. The center is located at the Smiths Station Government Center, 2336 Lee Road 430, Smiths Station, AL 36877.
To register for FEMA assistance: http://www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)