DANVILLE, Calif. (KRON) — Danville residents who sustained the worst damage to their homes last month during the rain and flooding received some good news this week. The California Office of Emergency Services announced yesterday that property owners in 13 counties, including Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Cruz can now start applying for FEMA disaster assistance.
In Danville, one resident has already started the process of applying. When rain and wind battered the Bay Area, Jim and Paula Szczesny’s Danville street suffered extensive damage. A nearby creek flooded on Dec. 31, bringing several inches of water inside their home.
More than a month later and they’re still repairing the damages, at a high cost.
“About $100-$150 thousand in damage,” said Paula Szczesny.
They say they’re not in a flood zone and have never experienced a storm like this in the 21 years they’ve lived here. They’ve been surprised by how long it’s taken to try to get their home back to normal.
“We thought in two weeks we’d have everything back in order,” said Paula. “We had no idea it would be like this. It’s a really long process and a lot longer than what people realize.”
Floors and cabinets all needed to be replaced, while the chance of mold looms over their heads. It’s been a waiting game for the couple when it comes to FEMA relief. They only found out this week that residents in their county are now eligible to apply.
Kristi Jourdan with Contra Costa County says residents will need to check with their insurance companies first to see what’s covered and what’s not. Then they can apply directly through FEMA online, at disasterassistance.gov.
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“Actual damages to your property or business. It also means other types of losses. Medical and dental as well as transportation and childcare,” explained Jourdan.
Though residents were cleared to apply for help, counties and cities are still waiting to hear if they’ll receive FEMA assistance with public infrastructure. There has been around $43 million worth of damages in Contra Costa County.
“So that’s bridges and roads, culverts and we’re still waiting to hear back on that,” Jourdan said.
Residents have until March 16 to apply for the FEMA assistance. The Szczesny’s already put in their request and say they should find out in two weeks if they’re approved.
“We have two kids in college and this was all just unplanned so we’re happy that we’ll get some kind of help,” said Paula.