STORM UPDATE 7/7/2012 5:30 PM (FEMA)

FEMA has announced it will be opening a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Lake City beginning Monday morning, July 9, located at 484 SW Commerce Drive, Suite 145, in the Westfield Square Shopping Center. The Center will be open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Representatives of FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and state agencies will be on hand to allow residents to make applications for disaster assistance programs which includes grants, low interest loans, unemployment payments and other relief programs. Residents are urged to register in advance of visiting the DRC and can do so by calling FEMA at 1-800-621-3362. You can also register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. If phones are busy, attempt to call back a few minutes later. FEMA officials also suggest calling on weekends or after 6:00 p.m. as phone volumes tend to be lighter in the evening hours.

Representatives of SBA will also be on hand to take applications for low interest loans for both individuals and businesses. Residents are also reminded that the State of Florida has activated its Small Business Bridge Loan Program which provides no interest loans from $1,000 up to $25,000. The loans are for periods of either 90 days or 180 days. To qualify small businesses must have a minimum of two employees and less than 100. Applications are available online at www.floridadisasterloan.org, or you can call 1-850-473-7800 or toll free at 1-866-737-7232.

Local residents planning to visit the Disaster Recovery Center need to be prepared to provide the following information:
· Social Security number, including that of your spouse.
· Private insurance information, if available.
· Address and zip code of the damaged property.
· Directions to the damaged home or property.
· Daytime telephone number.
· A telephone number where you can be reached or leave a message.
· An address where you can get mail.
· If you want your disaster assistance funds sent directly to your bank, provide the FEMA agent with your bank account type (savings, checking), account number and bank routing number.

In addition to the DRC, a Human Services Recovery Center will be opened at 1:00 p.m. on Monday. It will also be located in the Westfield Square Shopping Center, 426 SW Commerce Drive, Suite 101. Representatives of Catholic Charities, the American Red Cross and other community support agencies will be represented. Beginning Tuesday, the Human Services Center is also scheduled to be open from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

In terms of flood waters in the area, the Suwannee River AT White Springs was measured at 80.17 feet Saturday morning. The river is predicted to be back in its banks on late Monday at 77 feet. The Santa Fe River at Fort White had a measurement of 26.51 feet today and is expected to return back to its flood stage of 24 feet around the 20th of this month. At Three Rivers Estates, the measurement of the Santa Fe was 20.7 feet with flood stage at 19 feet. The Santa Fe is expected to recede back to flood stage also around the 20th of July.