Local News

After Wading Through Water, Some Flood Victims are Knee Deep in Red Tape

Posted October 7, 1999

— It takes more than building supplies and volunteers to re-build communities devastated byHurricane Floyd. What folks need most is money fromFEMA.

The people of Mar-Mac have done quite a bit of waiting lately. They had to wait a week for the flood waters to go down so that they could get back into their homes.

Now, they are waiting for help from FEMA.

Mark Lutze says he will never go home again. Flooding destroyed his house in Mar-Mac and just about everything inside.

Lutze applied for help from FEMA three weeks ago, and he is still waiting for his house to be inspected.

"I guess it was two weeks later when the FEMA man called us. Because there was water on the road, they were not allowed to come down. He said he was going to get back up with me the following week, but I'm sure they're busy," said Lutze.

Over 54,000 people have filed for FEMA assistance in North Carolina. Many flood victims will have to wait two or three weeks for an inspector and another two or three weeks before FEMA cuts them a check.

However, FEMA says it is finally starting to catch up.

"It's been overwhelming for North Carolinians. Our systems were actually maxed out at one time. Now, things are starting to smooth out," said Brad Craine of FEMA.

Help is slowly trickling in for some flood victims. Friday, FEMA delivered a travel trailer to flood victim Wayne Hughes. He will live in it until he repairs his house.

"Well, it took a little while, but it's better than laying in my house. I've got something that I can stay in now, and I'm going to enjoy it while I work on my house," said Hughes.

The deadline for filing for FEMA assistance has been pushed back to mid-November.

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