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Homeowners still recovering from flooding as FEMA aid deadline looms

Posted at 9:12 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 22:12:42-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the deadline to apply for FEMA aid for those impacted by the March flooding looms closer, some say they have yet to receive any help.

FEMA says it has already approved $1 million in disaster relief in the area.

However, neighbors in one community say they've struggled to recover from the damage and have been depending on each other to get back on track.

"Most of these kids, it's their first house. And they feel an allegiance to us. They don't want to move," Tom Kiermaier said.

He saw his neighbors, who he's clearly grown fond of, struggle with flood damage when the flash flooding hit this spring.

He was one of many who struggled with flood damage. The water didn't make it inside his home but he lost a shed, several vehicles replaced a fence and HVAC system.

But he's always been more worried about the "kids" as he calls them who live on his street rather than himself.

"All of these millennials were displaced, still weren't in their house, we're at the end of June now. And FEMA or nobody was offering them any kind of assistance for lodging or meals," he explained. "And now, the city has come forward, from what I understand, and offered to reimburse them for meals and lodging until they get back in their homes."

Many have reached out to FEMA, but the agency doesn't cover everything,

"FEMA isn't an insurance company. So, we're not going to make you whole as in exactly the way you were before the flooding," said FEMA Spokesperson Darrell Habisch. "But we can help you with, a safe, secure, sanitary environment today. If it's your family, loved ones, let's talk about that because everyone deserves a safe place to stay at night."

The deadline to apply for aid is July 7. Habisch says they want to help whoever they can who was impacted by the storms.

Kiermaier is frustrated with the federal government, though. "I think you talk to five different FEMA people, you get five different FEMA answers."

For those who may need help applying for aid, the Nashville VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and Long-Term Recovery Group are hosting a free one-on-one event Thursday, July 1.

The event will be held at Plaza Mariachi on Nolensville Pike from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Those who have applied for FEMA assistance and are in need of additional help can call the Disaster Recovery Connection helpline at (615) 270-9255 or apply online by clicking here.