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FEMA representatives offering rebuilding information and hazard mitigation information at Library

By: Erin Smith

Residents of Bladen County who were impacted by flooding during Hurricane Mathew can visit Bladen County Public Library in Elizabethtown and meet with FEMA representatives. The representatives are available to walk with homeowners about the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the process of rebuilding/repairing homes that were flooded during the storm.

FEMA officials will be available in the meeting room of the library to answer questions and guide homeowners in accessing the resources they need through Friday. Robert Nix with FEMA said residents can come to the library between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Friday, January 20, to learn more.

Bladen County Emergency Services Director Bradley Kinlaw said the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program offers residents who were impacted by flooding assistance in one of three areas –elevating/flood proofing your home (raising the home higher), acquisition and demolition (buy out), and mitigation reconstruction (demolition and rebuild). He added that even if you have already applied for assistance from FEMA, you can still apply for assistance through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. He said once you complete the application process, FEMA will let you know if you are eligible for the program.

Kinlaw said that county officials must have all the necessary information and documentation compiled by May 1. He emphasized homeowners with flood damage are encouraged to apply for the program.

FEMA representative Robert Nix said on Wednesday morning, “We are helping with the recovery process.”

He said that FEMA offers a variety of information that residents may be interested in including flood insurance program information, information on how to select a contractor, to how to repair a storm damaged roof.

Nix recommended that everyone register with FEMA at disasterassistance.gov even if they don’t think they have damage that is covered.

Nix also said that owners of commercial properties are strongly encouraged to contact the Small Business Administration for assistance. Nix said the SBA offers many valuable resources to help commercial businesses recover from the storm. The SBA can be reached by calling 1-202-205-6734.

If you are unable to visit the library by Friday, you can contact Greg Elkins at the Bladen County Planning Department at 910-862-6745.

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