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FEMA tries to explain initial, very small first payments to flood victims


Frustration continues for flood survivors in eastern Kentucky. There have been many complaints that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is only awarding small amounts of money to victims.

Brett Howard is a FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer. He said this is a miscommunication between his agency and those impacted by the flooding and FEMA is reaching out.

“We really stress they need call the 1-800 number if they get a check for only $179 dollars. That is just an initial to get some of their damage assessed by the licensed contractor.”

Howard said there has been a miscommunication and they are working on getting the word out.

“Those funds are not grants for repairs or replacement. The message we’re trying to get out to survivors is the money is there to pay for contractor estimates only.”

Governor Beshear has mentioned in his recent flood updates that once survivors get their estimate from a contractor, they must take that back to FEMA so more money can be awarded. FEMA officials are reaching out through phone calls, texting, and e-mail to flood survivors. Howard says it is important for people to respond to FEMA’s 1-800 number.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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