FEMA assesses storm damage in Polk County

FEMA help for Polk County: How you can apply

Crews with FEMA are continuing damage assessment in the Tampa Bay area. Monday, they made their way to two places hit hard by Irma, Frostproof and Fort Meade.

The hum of generators still fills the Sunrise Trailer Park in Frostproof more than a week after the storm.

“I’m so very glad it’s still standing, because I really didn’t think it would be, but it’s very disheartening,” Diane Patterson, who lives there, said.

She didn’t just lose power. She also lost most of her roof, and water from the lake she lives on is still dangerously close to her home. FEMA’s there to help people like her.

“We don’t want to leave any area untouched,” Jodi Barns, one of the FEMA employees canvassing neighborhoods, said.

Without power, it’s almost impossible for some people who live out here to register with FEMA. That’s why it’s so important crews are going door to door.

They can register people straight from the field. All they need is the basics like a social security number and insurance info.

“I have no insurance on my home. Are they going to be able to help me?” Patterson asked

FEMA should be able to help, Patterson learned. Another question they’re being asked a lot is how long it’s going to take to get assistance.

That’s not easy to answer. It depends on what work you need done and what your insurance will cover, but they’re all hoping it’s soon.

“Especially with the other hurricane sitting out there, it would be nice if I could have it back up before Maria come in,” Patterson said.

Just seeing FEMA crews in their neighborhood is a relief, and as they were leaving, line crews were pulling in. All at once, the help they’ve been waiting for is here.

If you’ve already applied with FEMA, they’re asking you to wait a few days to check on the status of your application. If it’s been a few days, you can always check it online or call them at 800-621-FEMA (3362).

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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