HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - With disaster declarations from the State of North Carolina and the U.S. Small Business Administration in place, recovery centers opened Tuesday in Charlotte and in Catawba County. 10 counties are in the disaster zone from the flooding last month. People in any of the counties can apply at either disaster recovery center.
At the center that’s been set up at Springs Road Baptist Church near Hickory, Tom Shook came in hoping to get some help replacing a private bridge that was washed away. Four homes are still cut off, he says. The only way across to a road is by hiking a treacherous path through the rubble. “We need it fixed, “ said Tom.
Because it’s on private land, the D.O.T can’t fix it. He told relief officials about it and hope to hear more in a few days. Les Evans and his wife, living on a fixed income, sought help too. They just bought and moved into a home in Newton nine days before the storms and the floodwaters hit. His finished basement was ruined and he thinks the repair costs will be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
“We need help to fix it,” he said. Officials are encouraging anyone with damage to apply for help. The SBA relief may be in the form of low interest loans but grant money might be available from the state. Phillip Triplett of NC Emergency Management says it doesn’t hurt to apply for aid. “There is a lot of help that most people don’t realize is available.”
The centers will remain open until July 11th, except for Sunday and the Fourth. After they close there will still be opportunities to apply online or by phone. Those heading to the centers are encouraged to bring paperwork of ownership, social security numbers, and photos, if possible. The paperwork is not required but might help speed up the process.
Decisions on what an applicant may qualify for will be made within days.