FEMA Aid Comes Late for Some Homeowners

Oct 21, 2008

First Coast News--October 21, 2008

Posted By: Ashley Coleman

MIDDLEBURG, FL — Two months after Tropical Storm Fay, most of the First Coast has bounced back. But people living in two counties are just now getting help.

"It’s about time," said Butch Goble, who lives along Black Creek in Clay County. The water spilled over the banks of the creek during Fay, turning his neighborhood into a flood zone.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has now added Clay and Bradford counties to the list of 27 Florida counties in need of federal disaster aid.

Goble says it is frustrating to wait so long for help. But he is understanding.

"I just know everything takes a lot of time," said Goble.

A spokesperson for FEMA says the reason it took so long to offer assistance in these two counties is because the preliminary damage assessment took a while in the rural areas.

Goble owns a few homes on Black Creek. One of his rentals was damaged because of floodwaters. He had to replace all the doors and floors in the house.

On Tuesday, a disaster relief center is opening in Starke. It will operate temporarily to give people information about disaster aid. The center will open at 8 a.m. and will be located at the Bradford County Safety Complex at 945 B North Temple Avenue.

Clay County has not announced a location for a center at this time. But you don’t have to visit a center to register for aid. You can call or go online. After you register, a FEMA inspector will visit your home or business and assess the damage. Within a few days, you’ll receive whatever aid you are eligible for.