Flood victims waiting for word on financial aid

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on November 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 7:40 PM

AUSTIN -- As hundreds of South Austin residents sort through their belongings after last week's flood, they're also wondering what will become of their lives and homes.

"This is the second time we've flooded. I reckon I'm going to try and rebuild again," said James McDaniel.

After the floods in 2001, he was told it wouldn't happen again. The City bought hundreds of nearby homes and tore them down.

"I would have sold out to the City if they would have continued to offer the buyout, but they deemed we weren't going to be affected by the floods anymore," said McDaniel.

About 70 police cadets helped get mud-soaked belongings out to the curb for removal in the Onion Creek neighborhood.

"People can't begin to restore their homes until they clear out the mess that's in these homes," Chief Art Acevedo said.

A chest of drawers is one of the items cadets helped McDaniel get out of his home. Police say they are not allowing people looking to recycle metal to dig through debris. They will be asked to leave. If they don't, they could be arrested.

"Oh! My house, I lost everything," exclaimed Isabel Johnson as cadets were helping clean out her home.

She says right now she doesn't know what she is going to do: rebuild, or start over somewhere else.

"I went in to talk, I filled out some paperwork with the Red Cross and was told that the Red Cross will get a hold of FEMA, and then they'll get in touch with me," said Johnson.

Austin's Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Otis Latin says it's a process. He says they're addressing the immediate needs of the victims as the City fills out paperwork for the state. They will then forward it to the federal government.

"I don't want the citizens to get an unexpected expectation," Latin warns.

He says the City is doing what it can to help. He says the City will continue to be there through the long term recovery process.

Go here for ways to help flood victims.

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