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FEMA disaster recovery center opened in Spalding County to help those who suffered tornado damage

SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — It’s been nearly two weeks since tornadoes ripped through Spalding County.

Now a FEMA disaster recovery center is open to help those in need.

The recovery center opened today at the Spalding County Senior Center, where storm survivors can meet one-on-one with FEMA representatives.

One of those seeking help was Arthur Reid, whose home has substantial damage from the storm.

He’s worried about how much it will cost to repair it all, so he paid a visit to the recovery center.

“And I need plywood, two-by-fours, and a complete shingle-type roof back on it,” Reid said. “What that will cost me, I don’t know.”

Whatever it costs, he can’t afford it on his own.

That’s why he’s applying for a FEMA grant to cover the cost, meeting face-to-face with a FEMA representative.

The application can be done online or on the phone.

“Some people are not convenient with doing that,” said Nate Custer, a FEMA spokesperson. “Some people simply don’t have the capability to get online, and they possibly don’t want to talk about their personal situation over the phone.”

Custer encourages even those whose losses are covered by insurance to apply for FEMA assistance.

“You may end up being underinsured,” Custer said. “And on a case-by-case basis, FEMA can look at filling in some of those gaps for emergency home repairs.”

It’s not just FEMA at this recovery center, but also representatives from the Small Business Administration.

The SBA provides long-term, low-interest loans for homeowners and renters.

“We do help homeowners with coverage of their structures up to $200,000,” SBA spokesperson Jim Accurso said.

The need in communities like Griffin is still great two weeks after the storm.

Reid’s home damage is vulnerable to the elements.

“I wish they could help – and soon,” Reid said. “Because it’s been raining ever since that storm went through here.”

Anyone living in the seven counties declared federal disaster areas can utilize the Spalding recovery center.

It’s open seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and is located at the Spalding Senior Center at 885 Memorial Drive.

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