June 08, 2011 Edition

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Residents granted $320,000

Gretchen Hunt

FEMA has awarded more than $320,000 in assistance to Lawrence County residents who were victims of the recent flood, according to Brad Craine, public information officer.

Craine said 62 applicants have been approved for assistance in the form of grants from FEMA.

However, he also points out that those who have received an ineligibility letter, may still qualify for assistance. Those who have received notice that they are not eligible can ask the agency to revisit the decision.

State Coordinating Officer David Maxwell said something as simple as a an outdated phone number or missing information can trigger the letter.

For those who have received FEMA assistance, Craine stresses the importance of completing a Small Business Administration loan application.

"If you qualify, you don't have to take out the loan," he said. "But for those who don't qualify, the SBA can refer back to FEMA for more assistance. That is the only way we can determine if they may qualify for additional assistance."

Residents impacted by the recent disaster are also reminded that Thursday is the deadline to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Disaster Assistance through the Department of Human Services. More information can be obtained through the local DHS office.

Disaster center transitions

The Disaster Recovery Center in Pocahontas has transitioned into an SBA Loan Center, as of Monday. The center will remain open for at least a week to provide individuals with information and provide assistance with applications for low-interest disaster loans.

FEMA and the SBA also operated a Disaster Assistance Center at the Lawrence County Meeting Room in Walnut Ridge on Tuesday evening from 4-8 p.m. Craine said this new concept provides a streamlined, short-term version of the Disaster Recovery Center.

A second session for the Disaster Assistance Center has been scheduled for June 17 from 4-8 p.m., also at the meeting room.

Updates available

Individuals are also reminded that they can stay up to date on disaster recovery efforts online at www.fema.gov, as well as on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and Facebook at www.facebook.com/fema. Other social media resources include http://blog.fema.gov and www.youtube.com/fema.

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