Update on FEMA individual assistance in Florence County

JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) – Johnsonville of Florence County was hit hard by flooding last year but with the help from FEMA many people in the First Neck Road area were prepared for high water this year.

First Neck Road in Johnsonville is a known flood area and is still flooded almost one week after Hurricane Matthew.

Bill Altman lives just off of First Neck Road. He said lost everything after the October Flood last year.

“I lost everything, everything in the house. My clothes, everything had mildew. So I just had to lose it and get over it,” Altman explained.

Altman said Hurricane Matthew created higher flood waters than last year’s flood. This year he bought a new home with help from FEMA. He built his home 4 feet above the ground to avoid it from flooding.

Altman said, “I was prepared this year. That’s the reason I went up that high with my trailer.”

Florence County was declared a disaster by President Barack Obama. Meaning county buildings, roads and streets can receive federal money for repairs from the storm.

Individual assistance depends on if damages in Florence County meet a certain financial amount.

Andrew Golden the Florence County Emergency Management Public Information Officer said, “We’re waiting for that decision to be made. I’m not saying that 100% that we will get it. I’m not saying that 100% that we won’t get it. I’m just saying that we have to be patient for them to get the damage assessments done. So we can get that decision made whenever time allows.”

Florence County Emergency Management officials said FEMA started the damage assessments earlier this week.

After the FEMA damage assessment is complete in Florence County. The assessment will be sent to Governor Nikki Haley. Who will request individual assistance from President Obama.