Originally created 08/18/00

Some flood victims will see cash relief



At least 30 Augustans are on a draft list to receive emergency relief money as a result of flash floods June 20.

The Emergency Management Agency has compiled a tally of relief money recipients, and about $80,000 of an available $105,000 has been earmarked for Augustans most in need of immediate help after destructive flooding that disrupted the lives of hundreds of homeowners countywide.

The relief money is scheduled to arrive in Georgia Emergency Management Agency's Atlanta office today, but it could be weeks before the funds are transferred into Augusta-Richmond County's finance account.

"I don't know exactly when we're going to get the money," said local EMA Director David Dlugolenski.

There have been 72 applications for relief received. And there are a handful of relief applicants whose information the EMA office has yet to verify who could receive some reimbursement from the grant, Mr. Dlugolenski said.

"Even though the deadline has passed, if they can show me there's an immediate need, we'll take a look at it," he said.

Gov. Roy Barnes approved a $105,000 grant last month after hearing about the immediate needs of Richmond County flood victims during June flooding. The state Emergency Management Agency created guidelines for the governor's money, establishing the maximum amount any one household could receive as $5,000. The guidelines also mandated that the money be used for immediate needs needs such as temporary housing; replacement of food, clothing and furnishings; emergency medical expenses; minor home repairs to restore the habitability of an owner-occupied home; and transportation expenses.

Local EMA officials further narrowed the guidelines, setting average monetary amounts on lost items. If an applicant needed to replace a refrigerator, the reimbursement amount was $1,000. Lost furniture and most other appliances were set at a $500 reimbursement. And displaced families will receive $75 for each day to pay for housing and food.

"There were various ranges," Mr. Dlugolenski said. "I used an average, using different stores .ƒ.ƒ. and ran what I was doing by GEMA."

Nearly $52,000 of legitimate, immediate needs already have been identified, and an additional $30,000 likely will be awarded once the list is finalized. The EMA office expects to receive more requests for money in coming weeks as more needs are identified.

"More repairs may need to be done yet," he said.

Of those set to receive emergency money, 21 live in west Augusta's Commonwealth subdivision; three live on Chelsea and Kippling drives, along Rae's Creek; four live in the Hollywood subdivision; and two are in east Augusta.

Only three applicants will likely receive the full $5,000. Those who received the most emergency money didn't have flood insurance. And some applicants will receive as little as $150 to repair damaged cars or ruined carpets.

"We've used all our content money," said Dominion Court resident Heather Thompson, who expects to receive a check, which she says she will use to replace lost clothing and other items. "We didn't have enough to cover everything we lost. We've replaced some things, but it's just not the same."

Reach Heidi Coryell at (706) 823-3215.