COOKE COUNTY, Tex. -- Three weeks after the flooding, help from Uncle Sam has arrived for disaster victims. Congressmen Michael Burgess was in Gainesville on Monday to announce the good news.
An estimated $2.5 million dollars in housing assistance is now available to the six counties crippled by recent floodwaters. It’s a big step forward for those who need to rebuild after storms rolled through Texoma three weeks ago, flooding neighborhoods and leaving many homeless.
FEMA made the announcement Monday money is available through registration at the recovery centers in Gainesville and Sherman. More than $1 million of those funds will go directly to Cooke County, especially the city of Gainesville, the hardest hit area.
"They showed me some of the areas where literally you had people living on the street because they had nowhere to go. Now you have housing assistance, and people are being taken care of," said Representative Burgess.
Homeowner Peyton Story says she registered right away, and FEMA came out to assess the damages to her home.
She says, "They’re supposed to be sending a check in the mail.”
After three weeks, people are still displaced in Gainesville. Some homes were literally picked up and moved by the force of the flood waters. These homes have been tagged as unlivable by the city of Gainesville, but today a glimmer of hope federal funding is now available to those in need.
"I’m real happy. There are five of us living in a one bedroom trailer right now, and it's not easy," says Story.
The announcement brings hope for the more than 500 Gainesville residents displaced by this disaster
FEMA officials say this money is for home repairs, items lost, and any other losses due to flooding.
Emergency manager Ray Fletcher warns there are stipulations for those looking for a check in the mail.
"There will be different levels of assistance available. It depends on what insurance they have available, the means they have available to them"
FEMA will verify a dollar amount on an individual basis.
It’s assistance the Storys say will help them and others get their lives back in order.
"I’m glad to get any help any help at all. I’m glad we didn’t lose any personal life because other stuff can be replaced."
An additional $750,000 has been approved for flood victims in Grayson County.
More than 1,900 residents have registered for assistance in Texas due to the flooding.
The disaster area has now been extended past the original six counties into southern Texas.
If you need to contact FEMA, call them at 1-800-621-3362 bewteen 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. or log on to www.fema.gov .