DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Don't expect FEMA to offer assistance to those uprooted — or, more likely, inconvenienced — by the freak flash floods earlier this month that left two people dead.
Palm Beach County conducted as assessment examination throughout the areas hit — including the Kings Point community — and determined that death nothwithstanding, it just wasn't all that bad.
According to the county:
Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management organized two Initial Damage Assessment (IDA) teams comprised of local and state emergency management representatives to assess damages as a result of the recent heavy rain event experienced throughout the evening on January 9, 2014.
Teams conducted assessments yesterday in the Town of Lantana and in the Kings Point Community, two of the most affected areas. The intent of the IDA was to determine whether or not the reported flood damage was significant enough to warrant a request for FEMA preliminary damage assessment. While the final results are still being tabulated, teams found over 170 units/homes with “minor” damage according to FEMA standards, and no units/homes receiving major damage or considered “destroyed.”
The Palm Beach County Division of Emergency presented these findings to the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM). The FDEM Recovery Bureau Chief felt that, based on the results, it was highly unlikely that FEMA would agree to send down an assessment team and pursue a presidential disaster declaration.
“The County will continue to look for avenues of assistance for our affected residents,” said Bill Johnson, RN, Director of the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management. Considering that FEMA Individual Assistance is highly unlikely, Johnson is requesting that the FDEM consider seeking a Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster declaration for Palm Beach County, which would allow eligible residents to apply for low-interest loans, if granted.