Four FEMA state disaster recovery centers open in Houston area

- As four newly-opened recovery centers cranked into action, affected families unleashed two weeks worth of pent-up fear and frustration.

"I don't have nothing now,"  said Shauentray Jones. "My kids need answers too. They don't really understand what's going on and just to open our doors and see how that water was and then risking our lives to get to safety."

Jones, a mother to three children, escaped the same rising water that took so much from so many in the Greenspoint district. She said that while the water may be gone, her life is still immersed in uncertainty.

"Hopefully, just to get back on our feet because it's hard and nobody is helping us," added Jones, who works as an assistant manager at a pizza restaurant. "It's hard out here and they put everything on the news like we just getting a whole lot of help, but they not giving us no answers, no help, no nothing. I just need to get me and my family back were we was. That's all I'm asking for."

Rapid delivery of that helping hand is the core mission of the four new recovery centers where needs will be assessed face to face.

When asked for specifics, governmental leaders said aid for housing, food, transportation, repairs and possessions will be extended based on each household's loss.

"Specifically, it would be case by case on what their need would be, but know that there are several avenues (of aid)  we can touch on," said Paul Timmons from the Federal Emergency Management Administration. It is an explanation which signals a yet-to-be-determined combination of federal grants and loans together with donated local relief.

"Our plea today is to please make an application to FEMA, even if you think you may not qualify, make the application so that it's recorded," said Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Gene Locke.

Still weary from rescuing riverside neighbors near Kingwood, Alex Maddox says the help isn't happening quick enough.

"I still need blankets and food and water and everything else that's why I'm here to see what immediate needs I can get met," said Maddox whose home is still inundated with water from the swollen San Jacinto River.

The four recovery centers are at the following locations:

  • Greenspoint Office Building, 16800 Imperial Valley, Houston, TX 77074
  • Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77074
  • Cypress Creek Christian Church and Community Center, 6823 Cypresswood Dr., Spring, TX 77379
  • Lone Star College Cy-Fair Library, 9191 Barker Cypress Rd., Cypress, TX 77433

Flood victims can also apply for aid by phone at 800-621-3362 while TTY users should contact 800-462-7585. To apply for aid online, visit https://www.disasterassistance.gov/.

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