LAKEVILLE -- Dozens of people visited a FEMA disaster relief center here today, seeking help from a variety of damages sustained by their homes during last month's flooding.
Elwood Hutchens, 64, of East Freetown, came to the center to see if the government could help with repair costs to a well on his property contaminated by flooding.
Hutchens and his wife use water from the well for several tasks including cooking and showering. He said that he is showering at his office in Fall River and cooking with bottled water, among other measures.
"I'm just looking for answers on how this gets resolved," he said.
Karen Bouzan, 50, of Lakeville, is looking for a place to stay. She and her two children had to leave their home last Thursday when a nearby pond flooded. They were staying with her boyfriend but now need alternative lodging.
"He's not kid friendly," she quipped.
Krissy Correia, 33, of Taunton, said that a new carpet, a refrigerator, and other appliances were damaged when her basement flooded. She is seeking help with the repair costs, which she said would probably come to more than $5,000.
Correia added that she and her husband have spent a lot of time in the basement since the flooding began.
"We've been busy cleaning up the mess," she said.
Donald San Souci, manager of the Federal Emergency Management Agency center located in the Lakeville Public Library, said it will remain open seven days a week for at least a month. The relief center will open every day from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the library.
Bristol County, which was hit hard in the flooding, does not have a center, which could be due to the low number of people who have registered for federal aid in the area, San Souci said. He added that residents of the county can visit the Lakeville center.
Disaster recovery centers opened today in four other counties.
Meanwhile, federal and state emergency management crews scattered around the state today to assess flood damage as part of the state’s application for federal disaster relief funds.
Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said officials with his agency, from FEMA, and the state departments of public safety and transportation planned to visit communities hardest hit by the storm, including Quincy, Freetown, and Fall River.
Judge said the teams visited communities in Middlesex, Norfolk and Essex counties, but have not yet tallied their findings. Teams will be out again on Thursday, he said.
The goal is to determine damage to public infrastructure as part of the state’s application for relief for individual communities. Similar visits have been conducted at private homes and businesses, allowing individuals to apply for aid.
Judge said the state would have to show $8.2 million in damages to public infrastructure statewide to justify its application. Then, the federal government will examine damage by counties in determining if and how to dole out assistance.
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