Hurricane Florence Series: Waiting to learn if FEMA will help
By Erin Smith
One Bladen County family is waiting to learn if FEMA will assist them in repairing roof damage they say occurred as a result of Hurricane Florence.
Annette Powell, of the Porterville community, said the hurricane damaged a portion of her roof. She said it blew shingles off a portion of her roof that caused the roof to leak inside the house during the storm.
She said to her knowledge water did not collect underneath the house. Powell’s brick home is located on Suzie Baldwin Road.
Powell said the leaks in her roof are, in some cases, concealed from view. “It comes down inside the kitchen cabinets.”
The ceiling leak in the bathroom is visible and a ceiling leak in a closet in the front of her house is also very visible. Powell, who enjoys sewing, said some cloth she had stored in that particular closet, was lost to the storm due to issues with mildew following the storm.
Powell said the tarp placed on the roof following the storm has helped slow the leaking, but she says she and her husband are on a fixed income and do not have the means to repair the roof on their own.
“I’ve gotten estimates, but I couldn’t afford to do it on my own,” said Powell of the damages to her home.
Powell says she has spoken with a FEMA representative regarding her situation. “I talked to FEMA. They denied me and then I filed an appeal, but I haven’t heard from the appeal,” said Powell.
She said a FEMA representative called her once and told her to have her roofer submit an estimate with all of the expenses itemized on it and Powell said she has completed that task. Powell said she has not heard from FEMA since she submitted the itemized estimate.
Powell said she has also spoken Bladen County Emergency Management officials regarding the situation, as well. She said she completed an application for the NC Step program.
She said she learned that officials are still working to complete claims from Hurricane Matthew. Powell said she suffered similar damages to her home in Hurricane Matthew, too.
“They haven’t settled with the (Hurricane) Matthew damage yet. So, I’m still going through both of them (claims from Hurricanes Matthew and Florence),” said Powell.
She added the last time she spoke with a representative regarding her claim from Hurricane Matthew was in early January 2019. Powell said officials have been out and have looked at the exterior of her home but now the officials want to come back and look at the interior of her home.
In the meantime, Powell is monitoring the tarp on her roof to ensure it remains in place and no more leaks occur in her roof. When asked what she would like to happen, Powell said she wanted her roof repaired. She added she would like to hear from a FEMA representative regarding the status of her claims.
In the meantime, Powell said she keeps a watchful eye on her ceiling for new leaks.