Putnam to receive federal aid after storm
Officials said Putnam is one of four counties in the state to received federal aid for individuals and businesses severely impacted by Hurricane Matthew two weeks ago.
Putnam County Emergency Operations and Preparedness Chief Quin Romay said Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster assessment teams determined Hurricane Matthew impacted 687 residences.
Of those, Romay said, 106 suffered major damage and two were considered destroyed by the FEMA team.
Late Monday evening, Romay said the Emergency Operations Center was notified by FEMA that Putnam County qualified for the Individual Assistance program. St. Johns, Flagler and Volusia counties also qualified.
According to FEMA’s website, homeowners, renters and business owners can apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damages and losses resulting for Hurricane Matthew.
Emergency Management Capt. Paul Flateau said FEMA teams with assistance from EOC members spent the last week visiting residences affected by Hurricane Matthew to make their determination.
“The affected residences were structures the FEMA team visited. We believe there are more homes out there that were damaged,” Flateau said.
Some of the criteria for affected homes were damage to an attached structure, downed trees, and shingle damage or missing shingles. Major damage consisted of failure or partial failure of roof components over essential living spaces, damage to chimney or small vertical cracks in foundation. For flooded residences, major damage included damage or contamination to well or septic system, and damage or submersion of electric panel or air conditioning units.
FEMA teams deemed a destroyed residence as a structure that could not be repaired.
Manufactured homes in the south Putnam County saw the highest levels of major damage, Flateau said, because flooding reached the flooring system to include insulation, ductwork and subflooring.
Flateau said those with insurance must still report damage to their insurance companies and keep documentation, such as receipts, photos and correspondence related to repairs.
“It was rewarding to get the declaration,” Flateau said. “Now we can get resources for people. The health and safety of our citizens could have declined.”
Flateau said there are still people in the community who need assistance from the storm.
“We’ve had individual situations we are still finding,” Flateau said. “On Saturday we found an elderly woman whose car was blocked by a tree and she had power lines down. She didn’t want to bother anyone.”
Flateau said there could be others still needing assistance.
“If you haven’t seen your neighbor in a few days, go check on them,” Flateau said.
Residents who plan to apply for individual assistance can fill out an application online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362.