• John McGary, Woodford Sun Editor

Deadline approaching to apply for FEMA flood relief


AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS, like this of the Shoreacres area, helped officials make a successful case for Woodford County being added to the list of those eligible for individual assistance for losses suffered in the February and March flooding along the Kentucky River. (Photo by Eagle View)
AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS, like this of the Shoreacres area, helped officials make a successful case for Woodford County being added to the list of those eligible for individual assistance for losses suffered in the February and March flooding along the Kentucky River. (Photo by Eagle View)

When Woodford County was added to the list of Kentucky counties eligible

for individual assistance for victims of floods, landslides and

mudslides from Feb. 27 to March 14, officials set about letting them know.

Woodford Emergency Management (EM) Director Drew Chandler issued a news

release that day, May 28, then helped put together a four-page flier

that was mailed to homeowners, renters and business owners who might be

eligible. He also used social media to get the word out.

“The federal government will ultimately determine the eligibility on a

per-application basis,” Chandler told the Sun Monday. “They look (at

criteria like), ‘Was it insured? Was it insured for enough, or

underinsured?’”

He said businesses and people who rent properties can apply for the FEMA

funds by showing losses traced to the disruptions caused by floods,

mudslides and landslides.

The county’s inclusion in the list of those eligible for individual

assistance can be traced to work done when the flooding was at its

worst, he said.

“We had an aerial photograph taken within a few hours of the (Kentucky)

river’s crest and so that helped document just how bad the flood really

was and how it impacted the homes along the river and the backwater …

for Griers Creek down on Shryock Ferry,” Chandler said.

Time stamps on the photos made the documentation indisputable and

“really helped paint the picture for the FEMA representative,” Chandler

said.

When the waters began to recede, Chandler and other county officials

began touring what turned out to be 63 locations in the Shoreacres,

Lower Clifton, Buck Run, Foraker, Old Clifton and Shryocks Ferry areas.

“We had boots on the ground doing a detailed damage assessment for each

property that we identified earlier using those aerial photographs, so …

we were able to turn in preliminary numbers to the state and they to

FEMA before the weekend was over,” Chandler said.

Now it’s up to the property owners, renters and business owners who

suffered losses to apply by phone (1-800-621-3362) or on FEMA’s website

(www.disasterassistance.gov) for the individual assistance programs

before the June 23 deadline, Chandler said. (That deadline may be

extended, he said.)

“It’s our hope that … as we get a few days closer to the application

deadline, we will actually go knock on doors. FEMA is supposed to supply

us with a list of the properties that applied for aid. They can’t give

us specifics on whether or not there was a successful transaction or

services rendered, because of the confidentiality (requirement) …”

Chandler said.

Appointments in the EM Department’s office in the courthouse basement

and visits by Chandler or EM deputies may also be offered, he said.

The amount of aid successful applicants receive will not be a

“significant windfall,” he said.

“It’s designed to help with the recovery – not make someone whole

again,” Chandler said.

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