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80+ homes damaged 50-100 percent: WEMA

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By ZACK OWENSBYThe Wilson PostWilson County Emergency Management Agency Director John Jewell said although there are no plans on behalf of the county or city governments to purchase damaged properties from homeowners, people are still hurting from the floods that struck so many homes earlier this month.“It has not come up, to my knowledge,” about Wilson County or the City of Lebanon discussing purchasing homes damaged more than 50 percent of their value, Jewell said. “We will leave those decisions to the DRC (FEMA Disaster Recovery Center),” he said.Jewell did admit that there are homes across Wilson which would fall into a category of suffering more than 50 percent damage.According to WEMA’s initial assessments, completed just days after the flooding by nine crews over three days, Jewell said they assessed:17 homes -- 100 percent damaged (5 Lebanon, 3 Mt. Juliet, 9 Watertown)65 homes -- 50 percent damaged (43 Lebanon, 12 Mt. Juliet, 10 Watertown)105 homes -- 25 percent damaged (61 Lebanon, 30 Mt. Juliet, 14 Watertown)137 homes -- 10 percent damaged (81 Lebanon, 38 Mt. Juliet, 18 Watertown)Jewell said these numbers come with the disclaimer that these are WEMA’s initial assessments, not those assessed by FEMA. And the locations were described as U.S. Post Office zones, not county or city districts.“These are our assessments. These don’t mean FEMA will agree with our initial assessments, either. They were not done by a FEMA official,” Jewell noted. “And homeowners are not excluded from assistance if we didn’t initially assess” their home as damaged.Nate Custer, public information officer for FEMA, said they do not yet have totals for how many families or how much funding has been approved at the Wilson County DRC located at the Prime Outlets-Lebanon shopping center, but said crews are there to help assist anyone who was affected by the recent catastrophe.If your property was damaged during the floods and you have not registered with FEMA, you can do so at the DRC located at Prime Oulets-Lebanon, Suite 273 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. every day. You can also register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621 FEMA or 800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing disabilities. Help is available in all languages.Staff Writer Zack Owensby may be contacted at zowensby@wilsonpost.com.
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