Flood victims, officials react to FEMA appeal approval

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - For more than a month, Denny Brown and other residents worked tirelessly to bring life back to normal.

"There hasn't been a day gone by that we haven't been putting up window trim, or painting trim, or painting, or cleaning," Brown said.

Now they're one huge step closer to that goal.

In the late hours of Friday afternoon, FEMA reversed its decision to deny individual assistance for flood victims.

The move will bring thousands of dollars to the people hit hard by May's storms.

As time passed, it was evident that the impact was greater than initially thought, and when the numbers were reviewed, it was considered and the designation was granted," explained Jaime Forero, FEMA's Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer.

"Individual people will get some much needed help.  And of course, we've all been waiting for this," said Sandra Lucas of Alabama EMA.

The decision spread quickly from Washington--to Alabama-- and right to local EMA directors and city leaders, who were waiting with bated breath for a response.

"The attitude and the way that the citizens of Montgomery County have acted through this has been spectacular," said Montgomery City-County EMA Director Steve Jones.

"We want to make sure everybody in this tri-county region who needs assistance can get assistance," explained Jeff Downes, Mayor Todd Strange's Executive Assistant.

Officials, however, aren't as excited as the flood victims, who now have a much brighter future ahead of them.

"Whatever FEMA helps out with, we welcome and appreciate it, and we'll enjoy getting it. We'd love to see it," Brown said.

If you need to register to receive assistance, visit disasterassistance.gov or call 1 (800) 621-FEMA (3362).

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