Elmore County FEMA Center closes Tuesday

ECLECTIC, AL (WSFA) - For the past 10 days, the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Elmore County has been assisting storm victims in applying for federal assistance, but the doors will close Tuesday at 7:00 PM.

Cliff Wingard stopped by today.  At first, he said, he didn't know he was eligible for assistance.

"My wife and I felt that there was no sense in going. People had lost everything, and we didn't lose everything," he said.

While his home was damaged, it's still standing, though he did lose a trailer and some other equipment. FEMA workers visited his home this weekend.

"Seeing that we had the damage that we had, they said we needed to apply because people aren't applying that should be applying," Wingard said.

But that on-the-ground federal assistance will end when the center closes up shop.

FEMA Spokesperson Rita Egan said, "We decide with the state and county where we can best utilize our resources.  And that's the reason we're moving them so they can be in an area where they can be fully utilized."

Elmore County EMA Director Eric Jones said the number of visitors to the center have slowly been tapering off.

"We have been very fortunate to have the on the ground as soon as we did and have them this long. I know some counties have only had them a couple of days," said Jones.

Even though the center will be closing, that doesn't mean you still can't apply for FEMA assistance.  You can still call their hotline at 1-800-621-3362.  But, if you want that face-to-face contact with FEMA workers, now's the time to act.

Wingard said, "I would encourage people to come and at least get the assistance that they can get. Because that's what it's for."

So far, more than 350 people have applied for assistance.

The center is located at 40 Kowaliga Road.  The Eclectic Disaster Relief Center, which is just a few doors down, is still open.  It will remain open until the need is no longer there.

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