MAIN STREET CLOSED, IN BOTH DIRECTIONS, BETWEEN UNIVERSITY AND ELMWOOD
Deal Or No Deal?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it's putting together a new deal for Georgetown Common residents.
The Washington apartment complex was destroyed by the Nov. 17 tornado. Since then, many tenants complain that red tape has prevented them from getting help through FEMA.
FEMA on Thursday announced it is going to work around some of its requirements to help affected tenants.
"This is a way that we can process applicants that have needs based on their property losses without having to do our normal inspection routines," said FEMA task force leader Eugene Lee.
He says the Agency will be seeking out individual tenants and reviewing each of their cases.
"They will either be contacted in the next couple of weeks or they will receive automatic determination letters or awards," Lee explained, adding that the Georgetown victims don't need to contact FEMA at all through the new process.
But it may be too little, too late for some.
"I had a tornado literally go through me, so I'm dealing with PTSD. Then having to deal with all this other, 'he said, she said, go this way, go that way' crap makes things a lot worse," said Michael Bowers, who was inside his third-floor apartment the day the tornado struck. The apartment, by the way, no longer exists.
Bowers says the only help he's gotten from FEMA so far is an offer for a loan he didn't want.
"Also, I'm now disqualified for grants from FEMA since I'm approved. I was just following their advice on what to do to try and get help," Bowers said.
He says he's not convinced that the workaround FEMA has set up is going to do much good.
"They don't have any details to tell us, and there's no way to contact them. They say, 'We'll be in contact with you.' It's just kind of more of the same with FEMA. I really don't know why they're here," he said.
FEMA's numbers show that people like Bowers are in the minority, though. Spokesperson Deanna Frazier says out of the 179 residents, 160 have registered. 100 of those registrants have received assistance.