FEMA, SBA Open Recovery Centers for Flood Victims

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For the past couple of weeks, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration staff members have been opening recovery centers across Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.

They're assessing the damages from the late April, early May flooding.

"We've already completed over 6,800 home visits,” said Bob Howard, External Affairs for FEMA. “The process is quite quick and how it goes through, and that’s what we want to do."

"I would encourage everyone to apply for an SBA loan, at this stage people won't know if they need it or not because they haven't finished with their insurance companies,” said Ray Harbour of the Small Business Administration.

Residents and business owners are asked to register with FEMA, and then come into the recovery center with any questions they may have.

Seagrove resident Leslie Bauer came into the center to talk about the major flooding outside of her home three weeks ago.

She still has almost a foot of water.

"The FEMA center has been phenomenal, we have had access to a number of good representatives, that have helped with state and FEMA resources,” said Bauer. “Hopefully we will get some flood mitigation relief."

And Bauer believes the county needs to do more to prevent future flooding.

"Our street has no culverts, no storm drainage, nothing, and that is ultimately out problem,” stated Bauer.

Both state and federal officials say the recovery centers will remain open until they're no longer needed.