Little help for residents of Steinhatchee after Hermine
STEINHATCHEE, Fla. --- Florida's Gulf Coast is still cleaning up the mess left by Hurricane Hermine.
Steinhatchee, in Taylor County, got hit hard and now some residents are upset with the response from FEMA.
“I’m sick over it.” said Johnnie White, a local resident of Steinhatchee. Johnnie and Millie White have been married for 19 years. Johnnie built this home with his own hands and has lived in Steinhatchee his whole life.
“It’s a little devastating and a little sad to know what we’ve been through.” Millie told us.
The Hurricane flooded their house. FEMA considers a home with more than 18 inches of water “major damage,” their home had more than 4 feet.
When FEMA toured the area, initial damage assessments were roughly twenty four thousand dollars. Which is for all of Taylor County. Dixie County neighbors Taylor County. When FEMA toured their area, initial damage assessments were nearly $7 million dollars.
Dustin Hinkel, the county administrator, explained “we are disappointed that we did not get an individual assistant declaration. We’re out here today to get more information from our residents so that we can share that with FEMA, so that they can take another look at us and give our residents the same assistance that their giving the county government.”
The White’s have moved in with family, a blessing that has turned into obstacles for Johnnie. He deals with lung problems and has to go up and down his daughters two story house.
Millie said for her husband, “It’s been very hard due to his condition and everything, trying to get him up and down the stairs because he doesn’t have much breath, and once he gets up there he can hardly breath.”
Johnnie has spent $1,300 dollars out of his pocket to help get his house back. He had one question for me when the interview was over.
“When do you think that FEMA, or anyone is going to help?” he asked me.
The First Baptist Church of Steinhatchee has been helping the White family, as well as others impacted in Taylor County. For more information on how to help, head to their website attached below.
Residents are also encouraged to call FEMA with any claims at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
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