Flood victims may reapply for assistance in 3-4 weeks

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

GREENE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – The Greene County Quorum Court voted unanimously Tuesday night in a special meeting in favor of an ordinance to allow Greene County to join the National Flood Insurance Program, which operates under the umbrella of FEMA.

According to a representative with the NFIP, flood victims who were rejected for private assistance from FEMA can reapply in 3-4 weeks.

Region 8 News contacted Mark Lujan Wednesday afternoon. He said counties not included in the NFIP have limited assistance when it comes to private matters; however, he said those counties can still receive public assistance to help fund street and infrastructure repairs.

"The county government in the incorporated area is going to participate in the national flood insurance," said Greene County Judge Jerry Shipman.

Shipman said quorum court members tabled the resolution during the last meeting to collect additional information about the program, which Lujan said provides residents the option of "more affordable" flood insurance premiums.

"It only affects those that are in the flood plain," said Shipman. "We had quite a bit of local flooding in the northern part of the county, so we were hit from the north, east and the west."

Lujan said since the quorum court voted on the measure Tuesday, residents impacted by this year's historic floods can apply for private assistance through FEMA again.

In some instances, FEMA asked residents to return money already awarded.

"They come and surveyed everything and measured everything in the house, and then they sent us a check where they got it processed," said Junior Remington, flood victim. "I talked to one guy and he said you're going to have to send the check back, and I talked to this other lady and she said go ahead and use it, so what does a fellow do?"

Remington said FEMA issued a check worth approximately $16,000 to cover damage to his home. He said two feet of water was in his home for several days.

"It got the refrigerator and the dryer and the hot water heater, stuff like that," said Remington.

Lujan said residents who live in a flood plain, once the county officially joins the federal program, will be given the option to purchase flood insurance if they can't get it. He said, in some cases, lenders won't help home buyers if they can't get insurance on a certain mortgage.

"You would think when the assessment was done for the individual homes, that when it goes in, evidently it didn't have a red light," said Shipman. "That part of the disqualification will be removed. Now other areas like proper assessment and that will still be a factor in the money they will or will not get."

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