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Many SE Texans concerned about FEMA's response to emergency assistance after flooding

Many SE Texans concerned about FEMA's response to emergency assistance after flooding

Many Southeast Texas residents are concerned with the response they received from FEMA after applying for emergency assistance.

The Davis family has lived Broussard Road in Beaumont for more than six decades.

James Davis applied for emergency assistance through FEMA last week after their home was inundated with nearly eight feet of flood water.

Davis promptly received a letter from FEMA stating their claim can’t be processed.

“When my mom passed away she gave us the house and. It's just gone. No more, but I will get through it,” said Rebecca Davis.

Davis and her husband returned home a week after flood water from hurricane Harvey forced them to evacuate.

After evaluating the damage outside of their home, they hoped to get their first look inside, but were unable to pry open any of the doors.

“I think the whole framework is probably warped,” Davis said.

James jumped into action quickly, applying for emergency assistance through FEMA last week, but the letter they got says: “Your home is not located in the designated disaster area, such as a county or parish. FEMA will notify you if your area is added to the disaster.”

Davis said he was confused because Jefferson County was added to the disaster declaration by Governor Greg Abbott.

“I got to thinking it doesn't sound right the president of the United States has already been down here and said that we are in a disaster area,” Davis said.

Davis is right, but the disaster declaration happened after he submitted his application to FEMA.

“The very beginning it is a little confusing because it is a disaster. Over half 1 million people have registered in the entire state of Texas so far so the pipeline is backed up and busy and people are working feverishly to try to help these people get back on the road to recovery,” said FEMA spokesperson Ken Higginbotham.

FEMA said many people rushed to apply for assistance before the disaster declaration was made, and will need to call 800-621-FEMA or register again online at www.disasterassistance.gov. to get the recovery process started.

“It’s just hard sitting back and waiting. There’s a lot of questions and I’m hearing a lot of stories about what you can and can’t do,” Davis said.

Davis and his wife don’t plan to rebuild. They say it will be too expensive, but hope that once they reapply for emergency assistance through FEMA they will get the financial help they need to start over.

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