Disaster recovery continues for Horry County - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Disaster recovery continues for Horry County

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - More than 3,700 people in Horry County have applied for FEMA assistance. FEMA has approved $2.3 million in funding so far.

In a press conference Tuesday, Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster talked about how the disaster recovery centers are still open and will remain open with FEMA representatives until the need for them subsides.

Horry County found 350 homes damaged with an estimated $9 million in losses, Webster said.

He said the county is working to secure funding itself for $1 million of damage to county roads and bridges

FEMA's public assistance program will cover 75 percent of local government expenses.

"It is a significant financial impact, but hopefully we'll get the reimbursement to help even that out," Webster said.

The county is working to set up a mobile disaster recovery center that will now be able to go to the areas that were hardest hit with the Waccamaw River flooding. Everyone with any damage is still encouraged to register with FEMA. 

Stephanie and Rocco Paglia have applied with FEMA and received temporary housing assistance. However, they said they want to start the cleanup process, but they don't have the money for the complete gut job the house needs until the FEMA funding comes through.

"We're cleaning it up little by little because they haven't released any funds to us yet," Rocco Paglia said. "Until we get that, I won't be able to get a crew in here to do all of the work because we can't afford to pay them."

The couple's entire house, which is on Riverside Drive, was covered in several inches of water.

"It's very, very tough to be displaced, look at your home destroyed, even your personal belongings that are all destroyed," Stephanie Paglia said.

The Paglias said they weren't told of the home's previous history with flooding until two months after they closed on the property.

"The realtors and even the homeowner told us that there was never any floods, but after we bought the house two months later, FEMA sent us a history of the house," Rocco Paglia said.

What the family really wants from FEMA soon is the money to raise the house so it is up to code and out of the flood zone.

"That is critical because if we do not raise this home, this will happen again," Stephanie Paglia said. "And we cannot go through this."

People can apply with FEMA at the disaster recovery centers at the North and South Strand Recreation Centers or online at disasterassistance.gov.

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