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FEMA Continues Assisting Flood Victims

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in La Feria on Pancho Maples Street. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

A dome at the end of Pancho Maples Boulevard is getting its share of work these days.

The facility, behind La Feria Recreation Center, has become a temporary place for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and it’s there to provide assistance to area residents whose homes and businesses were damaged by the rising waters during the June rains that dumped more than a foot of precipitation on parts of the city .

“FEMA Centro de Recuperacion por Desastres,” reads a banner in Spanish.

Inside the dome, about a dozen people sit behind desks stacked with documents of various sorts.

Among the services available include legal services, housing assistance, loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration and national flood insurance program.

Flood insurance is an issue for many residents impacted by the rising waters as many of them bought houses in places they were told have never flooded before.

But that was up to the month of June.

Felipe Macias and Marco Islas were among dozens of people whose homes were flooded and which were at the mercy of the Mother Nature as they had no flood insurance.

The two live on Bixby Road and had to do a lot of work to make their places liveable.

La Feria resident Maria Almancen stopped by the FEMA center on Tuesday to find out what kind of help she could get from the June rains.

She said the apartment she has been renting got flooded and that part of the roof caved in and her small white sedan took in a lot of water.

“I have been living at Loaves & Fishes in Harlingen,” she said. “But I have to leave the premises every early morning.”

Almacen said she has been spending the days anywhere she can- at the mall, inside hamburger joints and at some relatives.

“I spent $400 to fix my car,” she said, showing the inside of her car full of things she said has been getting from people and organizations. “I was told today they would send me a check to help me pay for the rent.”

Although FEMA has set up several centers like the one here in La Feria, the deadline to apply for assistance is Sept. 4, Robin Smith, a spokeswoman said.

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