Marion hosts town hall to connect residents with FEMA assistance

A town hall was held Tuesday night at the Marion Opera House where many gathered to hear an update on the hardest hit areas in the county as well as get answers to questions about applying for federal aid.
A town hall was held Tuesday night at the Marion Opera House where many gathered to hear an update on the hardest hit areas in the county as well as get answers to questions about applying for federal aid.

MARION, SC (WBTW) – The city of Marion is making sure people hit hard by Hurricane Matthew get the help they need. A town hall was held Tuesday night at the Marion Opera House where many gathered to hear an update on the hardest hit areas in the county as well as get answers to questions about applying for federal aid.

“Matthew affected Marion in a really unprecedented way,” said Bishop Michael Blue. He said some areas of Marion County took a beating from the storm.

“It’s interesting because there’s some neighborhoods and areas that would appear to be almost untouched or unscathed,” Blue explained. “But then there are others that experienced devastation, major loss and some total loss.”

That’s why city leaders — including Mayor Bobby Davis — joined representatives from FEMA Tuesday night. Mayor Davis took time to thank first-responders and volunteers, who sacrificed time and personal safety to help their community.

Bishop Blue was one who as thanked for his service. He, along with the Marion County Recovery Committee, is coordinating donations and making sure they get delivered to the people in Marion County who need them most.

“We’re trying to create a network of sites in the various communities of our county so when food is sent for the county then we want to be able to house that and make sure it’s going out,” Blue said.

Later community members asked questions of the FEMA representatives. Most questions concerned what to do if a FEMA application is denied.

“Many of them are referred to our disaster recovery centers where we have folks from our individual assistance program,” explained FEMA public relations representative Renee Bafalis. She said they plan to be in town as long as it takes to help the areas that need it to recover from the storm.

“We’ll be in these communities as long as there’s a need,” Bafalis said. “Until we meet the needs of everyone that’s been affected.”

The help can’t come soon enough for some in Marion County who lost everything.

Bishop Blue is coordinating donations to different areas of Marion County.

The main drop off location is: 301 S Cypress Street in Marion

 

Any donation is needed but especially blankets, clothes (new), and non-perishable food items top the list.