Flood assistance available

Published 12:03 am Thursday, June 16, 2011

NATCHEZ — Adams County residents not protected by the Natchez bluff whose property was damaged by recent floodwaters have less than a month to qualify for federal cleanup dollars.

July 11 is the deadline for homeowners, renters and business owners who suffered losses in the flood to register for federal disaster assistance, a Federal Emergency Management Agency press release says.

FEMA housing assistance grants include funds to pay rent expenses incurred while rebuilding, minor home repairs and replacement of household items not covered by insurance.

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Other types of grants may be available to replace personal property and help in meeting medical, dental, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by other insurance or government programs, the release said.

Flood survivors can register with FEMA by calling FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585, or at www.disasterassistance.gov.

A June 3 release said FEMA has already approved $6,110 in aid for Adams County residents under the agency’s individuals and households program.

In Wilkinson County, $18,523 has been approved for the program, and $2,931 has been approved for Jefferson County.

Statewide, $1.37 million have been approved.

In other FEMA news, residents who need legal assistance for issues related to the flood disaster can get free advice over the phone from the Mississippi Bar Young Lawyers Division.

Anyone affected by the recent Mississippi disasters who cannot afford an attorney is eligible, as long as the legal issue is directly related to the disaster.

The Disaster Legal Services Hotline at 877-691-6185 is staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Callers can leave messages on the hotline’s voicemail at any time.

Disaster-related legal issues can include  FEMA benefits claims;      insurance claims;    landlord-tenant issues; consumer protection issues, remedies and procedures; bankruptcy; civil rights issues; employment law; family law; and real estate law.

Starting Saturday, hours for all Disaster Recovery Centers in Mississippi, including Wilkinson County, will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

The center in Woodville is located at the Wilkinson Industrial Complex at 1495 U.S. 61 South.