Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Road to Recovery Could Test Patience of Matthew Victims

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Road to Recovery Could Test Patience of Matthew Victims

Article excerpt

TARBORO, N.C. * Tiajuana Williams lives in a one-story apartment building in Princeville, N.C., that was flooded by a river bulging with rainwater from Hurricane Matthew. Before driving out of town ahead of the storm, she hurriedly packed a small bag with little more than a change of clothes.

If other recent floods in Louisiana and elsewhere are any indication, she could face a long road to recovery.

She filled out a FEMA application online and signed paperwork Thursday with an agency representative who met with people in Tarboro, just across the Tar River from Princeville.

But Williams was told that it could take a week or more to get to the next step, which will be a phone call from another representative who will go over her information again.

She has no renter's insurance and fears her belongings haves been ruined.

Making matters worse, she hasn't been able to get to her job as a home health nurse and doesn't expect a paycheck this week.

"I've had a headache for about four days," Williams, 53, said, taking a drag off a cigarette.

Her stress may not go away anytime soon if other recent flood disasters are a guide.

In Louisiana, thousands of displaced families are still waiting for government assistance after the catastrophic deluge there two months ago from a storm system that didn't even have a name.

Amanda Burge doesn't feel any closer to returning to her home in Denham Springs, La.

She is struggling just to get her family on the waiting list for a government-issued mobile home, which would allow them to live on their property while they repair damage.

Daily phone calls to FEMA haven't yielded any answers for when or if they can get one delivered.

"We feel like we're not making any progress forward," said Burge, a married mother of three young sons. "We don't want money in our pockets. We just want to go home. …

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