Screven Co. residents frustrated after not qualifying for FEMA individual assistance

Screven Co. residents frustrated after not qualifying for Individual FEMA assistance

SCREVEN CO., GA (WTOC) - Homeowners in some counties hit by Hurricane Matthew won't get federal help like neighbors in other counties.

Screven County folks qualified for one type of FEMA assistance, but not both kinds. Homeowners hit by Hurricane Matthew are still struggling with the damage to trees and homes. Terry Mock evacuated and came home to a mess.

"There were oak trees and pine tree debris everywhere. There were two trees down on the side of my house," Mock said.

Matthew struck again this week when Terry and others in Screven County learned they won't be eligible for FEMA help. Screven is one of several that didn't qualify for individual assistance. Emergency Management Director, Skip Starling, says Screven didn't have enough people who suffered major damage to qualify for homeowner help.

"Absolutely; the ones who are hurting *are* hurting, but we just didn't have enough of them to reach that threshold," Starling said.

Screven County did qualify for public assistance, which means FEMA will repay what it costs local governments to fix damaged roads and get debris off right-of-ways. Starling says FEMA's help to the county indirectly saves homeowners from a tax hike to cover the costs. However, that does little to console Terry or others.

"It's just frustrating,"  she said.

She and others still face a costly battle to put things back together.

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