Many Hardin County residents who have been waiting to hear from FEMA were relieved when representatives showed up at some local venues to provide information in person.
One of the locations where FEMA set up was at the Lumberton ISD Performing Arts Center. They were available to meet with residents on Friday and Saturday, September 15-16, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and they will continue the week of September 18-22, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Those who are attending will need to provide drivers' license, social security number and if an application has already been submitted, the FEMA ID Number..
On Friday, there were about 10 or so representatives seated at tables in the foyer of the PAC. Residents filtered in throughout the day, looking forward to their opportunity to speak to someone from FEMA face-to-face.
Some people waiting for their turn had already completed online registration, but have not heard back from FEMA and have a status of “pending” when checked online. They varied from people whose homes were completely flooded and lost all of their belongings, to people who sustained mild damage to their homes.
One woman said she qualified for lodging and $500 from FEMA. “We lost everything,” she said. She and her family are currently staying at a local hotel and were there to see FEMA in case they needed to extend their stay. Her home is off Mitchell Road, which experienced extreme flooding from Harvey.
She continued to say there are not many homes and apartments for rent in the area. She is grateful for the “roof over our head and electricity.”
One resident received over 15 feet of water in her home and says it will be at least six months to one year before she can live in her house again.
“I’m lucky compared to other people,” said a resident who lived in a mobile home. The 63-year-old woman and her daughter and son-in-law have been trying to replace the floors with plywood since moisture is continuing to rise from the insulation at the bottom of her mobile home to the floors. She feels that if she does not get it dried out soon, that it will be completely gone. It has been challenging for her as she is struggling with this situation. “I’m at the end of my rope,” she said.
As dire as she feels her circumstances are at this time, she has some optimism. “I’m glad the sun is shining, it gives me a little hope.”
A LISD employee has been blessed by generosity of a friend. Since his Bevil Oaks home is uninhabitable due to flooding, a friend has offered their home to him and his family. He is focused on rebuilding his home and wants to ask FEMA about their standard for rebuilding.
A question on many minds at the PAC was when are the FEMA inspectors coming?
The hour or longer wait was worth it to them to get a chance to speak to a representative. They were all hoping to get their questions answered and concerns addressed.