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Sullivan County residents look to FEMA to rebuild after Sandy

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Albany/HV: Sullivan County residents look to FEMA to rebuild after Sandy
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A FEMA assistance center opens in Sullivan County, an area hit particularly hard by Sandy and where residents experienced power outages for weeks. YNN's Elaina Athans has more.

THOMPSON, N.Y. -- Folks are looking to the federal government to help with the financial blow Sandy brought. An assistance center set up in the Town of Thompson. Three weeks after the storm, people were able to meet with FEMA and register for aid.

"If you have some questions, you’ve got somebody in front of you that can answer. And some people don’t like to talk over the phone, they rather do it personal. So this is a face-to-face attempt," said Sullivan County Public Safety Commissioner Richard Martinkovic.

Roland Ward was among those seeking a hand to pick up the pieces. He's retired, has a wife who's sick and needs constant care and after Sandy, he has a roof that needs to be replaced.

At his home in South Fallsburg, buckets have been placed inside the house and shingles are scattered around his yard.

"This is a serious disaster headache because I gotta keep checking the buckets when it rains to see how much water’s coming in," said Ward.

A total of three trees toppled on his property. Not only was his roof severely damaged, but also one of his cars was crushed.

"The person I spoke from FEMA explained everything. So I know exactly what route to take now to get some help," said Ward.

Roland plans to get a contractor to his house, to check out exactly what needs to be done. FEMA will then have to send in an inspector for a review.

The agency is short on inspectors right now, so it could be a week before there's a visit and $30,000 can be provided for repairs and for Ward. He'll need of every dollar possible.

"If I can’t get some assistance, I’ll have to get a loan and I don’t know how I'm going to do that. But I’m going to try," said Ward.

If you were unable to visit an assistance center and still need to register with FEMA, you can call their hotline number. It's 1-800-621-3362. Additional registration centers will be announced as they are opened at other locations.

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