BELFRY — Five FEMA assistance centers opened Wednesday morning in four Eastern Kentucky counties where flooding May 8 and 9 left hundreds of people homeless.
Four days after a federal disaster was declared in Kentucky, 1,800 people in Breathitt, Floyd, Owsley and Pike counties had registered for loans and grants to repair homes and businesses and replace belongings not covered by insurance, said Kentucky Emergency Management spokesman Buddy Rogers.
More than $3 million had already been approved, and Eastern Kentucky was catching up with numbers in West Virginia, where a disaster from the same storm system was declared two weeks earlier, Rogers said.
Carol Barre, manager of the center at Belfry Library in Pike County, said officials will "stay here as long as we're needed.
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Residents of Breathitt, Floyd, Owsley and Pike counties needing help with a Federal Emergency Management Agency claim should register first by phone or online, which will generate a FEMA work order, Barre said. Then, residents can visit the centers to ask questions, file paperwork and check on claims, Barre said.
Computers and phone lines also are available at the centers for people to register. Small Business Administration officials also are stationed at the FEMA centers.
Traffic at some centers was slow by mid-morning Wednesday. Two centers in Pike County had seen one person by 11 a.m.
Centers are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.