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Several FEMA DRC locations closing in the East

HAVELOCK, N.C. (WNCT) - Homeowners remain in the recovery process following Florence.

Many are still working with FEMA and SBA to get assistance and loans to help fix damages.

Disaster Recovery Centers have helped thousands of people in our area.

Two of them are now closing this week.

9 On Your Side visited the FEMA Center today in Havelock to get more details on the centers.

"We have less and less visitors, and it is only because we are trending towards the long-term phase of recovery," Angela Byrd with FEMA said.

Less visitors at DRCs across the East means more locations are closing their doors.

"When the disaster happened, there was a great need," Byrd said. "Most people that have registered for assistance have gotten it that needs it."

Byrd said the location off U.S. 70 in Havelock closes permanently Thursday at 5 p.m.

The Wallace location in Duplin County closes tomorrow at 5 p.m. 

For people still needing assistance, they can reach FEMA by phone or online or go to disaster recovery centers still open like the one in New Bern.

However, that one is closing on December 13th, which is also the deadline to apply for assistance.

"It is not uncommon for a disaster recovery center to close just before or right at the deadline," Byrd said. 

Jacqueline Wu with the Small Business Administration said people may still be able to get help following the deadline.

"As long as you get your application in by December 13 and receive a determination letter, you still have 60 to 90 days to appeal that decision," Wu said. "Call the reps to find out how you can improve your application and get additional funding."

Mayor Will Lewis said having a DRC in Havelock has had a positive impact.

"It has been great for our citizens to locally get the answers to their questions," Lewis said. "We have a lot of people still living with friends, renting a house or living with family. A lot are waiting on the FEMA process to do what they need to do."

Byrd said it is important people stay in touch with FEMA even the centers are gone.

"We do not want people to feel we have abandoned them," Byrd said. "Any questions they have, we do want them to stay in contact," Byrd said.




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