Disaster Recovery Centers to open in Sauk County, Madison soon, officials say

Disaster Recovery Centers to open in Sauk County, Madison soon, officials say

There will soon be several Disaster Recovery Centers open to assist Wisconsin residents with flood recovery efforts in response to August’s heavy rains across the state.

At the centers, local disaster relief officials, along with agents from the Federal Emergency Management Association and the U.S. Small Business Administration, will be located to talk with residents and business owners regarding flood recovery efforts and issues.

In Sauk County, the Disaster Relief Center is set to open Friday in Reedsburg, county officials said in a release.

The high water from this summer is gone in the city, but its effects are hanging on into fall.

“(It was) terrible,” Reedsburg homeowner Tony Magyas said. “We couldn’t stay here for five, six nights.”

You can see the line on Magyas’ front bushes marking how high the water rose — about 3 feet from the ground. His family lost their furnace, water heater and belongings stored in the basement.

“I’m just thankful we weren’t hurt or anything. That it wasn’t worse,” he said. “Our house, we can still live in it.”

Others across Sauk County weren’t so lucky.

“We’re close to 400 homes that have been impacted, from destroyed down to minor,” Sauk County Emergency Director Jeff Jelinek said. “The big thing is, this is a whole process that a lot of people have never experienced.”

Jelinek said the disaster recovery center will help make the process as easy as possible for homeowners.

The center will be located at 1375 Main Street between the Pizza Hut and Jay’s Power Center, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“It truly is important to register,” Jelinek said. “One, so they can look at aid. Two, 10 percent of moneys given out end up going toward mitigation projects.”

Jelinek said the U.S. Small Business Association can provide low-interest loans for homeowners and renters, and encourages anyone with damage to apply by the Dec. 17 deadline.

“Even if they don’t have anything, they don’t think they need it, as we go through the winter, you’re not sure what’s going to happen with foundations or whatever,” he said. “You’ve got six months to use the money if you’re approved for the loan. If you don’t need it, you don’t use it, it’s no problem.”

Jelinek said a recovery center specific to businesses is in the process of being set up.

The city of Madison announced in a release a DRC will be opening soon. Officials did not say where or when they expect the center to open.

Officials are reminding residents they do not need to wait for the DRC to open to register flood damage.

To register, call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or go online at disasterassistance.gov.

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