Knox County residents fear flood damage won’t count; FEMA to visit Wednesday

Local News

Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be in Knox County to assess flood damage on Wednesday.

Fountain City resident Robert Bomley said Monday the flood damage to his house wasn’t a part of the initial damage numbers FEMA received from the state.

Residents were told to call 311 to report flood damage after the historic flooding in February. County officials would then go to those homes to assess the damage and report it to TEMA.

TEMA then gave the reports to FEMA.

Colin Ickes, director of the Knox County Emergency Management Agency, said teams were often able to assess damage by seeing the property from the road.

Bomley said his damage couldn’t be seen from the road though. His damage was in the basement.

Ickes said no matter if teams drove by or walked up to properties, or neither, damage was reported to TEMA if the resident called 311.

Bomley was like many others who were affected by the floods.

“I know there’s people that are worse off, and I’m sorry for them. But we did too have damage and I can’t do anything about nor can I afford to fix it. So, we don’t know what we’re going to do,” Bomley said.

FEMA can only offer monetary assistance, and it’s not always through grants, according to emergency officials.

Ickes said FEMA will be Knox County for its joint preliminary damage assessment, but it could be weeks before it decides to make a federal disaster declaration for Tennessee.

The declaration would open up federal monetary assistance.

Free help is available for those who to clean flood damage before FEMA assistance is available by calling the Cleanup Help Line at 1-833-556-2476 before March 15.

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