Deadline for FEMA money for Anson County Hurricane Matthew flood victims Jan. 9

By: By Imari Scarbrough -

Anson County residents have received thousands of dollars in disaster recovery funds following Hurricane Matthew. More may be eligible, but the deadline is coming up in a week and a half.

There have been 77 registrations from county residents as of Dec. 20, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Of those, eight have been approved. A total of $9,201.04 had been approved for those eight households as of that date.

The number is tiny compared to that of other counties; Robeson County residents had submitted 18,031 registrations and had been approved for $22,343,266.53 as of Dec. 20.

It is also small compared to neighboring Richmond County, where there have been 130 registrations and $66,017.99 approved.

FEMA has received 77,944 registrations related to hurricane damage from across the state, and had approved $85.1 million as of Dec. 20.

William L. Rukeyser, a spokesperson for FEMA, said that he guessed that all awarded money was due to flooding damage from the hurricane. He also said that although only eight of the 77 registrations for emergency funding have been approved so far, it is possible that more will be.

“So, you know the other ones might still be being processed,” Rukeyser said. “They might have had, for instance, insurance. That is going to mean that there’s no additional assistance coming from FEMA because insurance has already taken care of what we can take care of because we can’t overlap insurance. Or could be that they called because a business was damaged and not a home.”

Even if someone has been denied for a loan, Rukeyser encouraged those who think they need emergency relief funding to read their letter from FEMA carefully and to appeal if necessary.

“Two other things I would suggest — if you have already have contacted us, and you’ve gotten a reply that’s in any way confusing or discouraging, give us a call,” he said. “There are numbers listed on whatever letter you’ve gotten. Call us up and ask us for an explanation; many times people will get discouraged because a letter will come in and can be taken care of by getting us additional information. For example, we may need a letter from insurance company.”

Insurance companies often don’t cover flooding damage, but FEMA will need a letter from the company stating that before it can award money. Rukeyser said that FEMA will also need the applicant’s Social Security number and bank account information so any awarded money can be deposited quickly.

Even if FEMA money isn’t available, low-interest disaster relief loans from the Small Business Administration may be, Rukeyser said.

To apply for federal disaster assistance, register with FEMA through the agency’s mobile app or at or call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA).

The deadline to apply is Jan. 9, though Rukeyser said that he did not advise waiting until the last minute.

Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.

By Imari Scarbrough