Norwalk’s Sandy victims get help from FEMA

A Hurricane Sandy-damaged home, under repair in Harbor View.

NORWALK, Conn. – More than 100 people, most of them from Norwalk, took the opportunity to meet FEMA representatives face to face this week at City Hall and get help recovering from Hurricane Sandy, a FEMA worker said.

Disaster recovery center manager Verne Kelley said at 5 p.m. Saturday that 38 people came in Thursday, 66 people came in Friday and 40 people came in Saturday, the last day of FEMA’s three-day stay in the city. “It’s been real steady,” he said. (The office was open until 8 p.m. Saturday.)

Victims wanted “everything, everywhere, from insurance questions to Small Business Administration questions,” he said.

The SBA was present Saturday. The administration handles homeowner loans, disaster loans and long-term, low-interest loans, Kelley said.

Bobby Knight of the SBA said his workers had been “very busy” and “working continuously.”

“We’ve had all different kinds of losses,” he said. “Homes, personal property, automobiles, businesses. Just an array of damages – trees on cars, floods on cars, flooded homes, flooded businesses.” He said business owners came from “all different areas,” not just Norwalk.

The SBA also can help businesses with lost revenue. “We can help them get back on their feet until their business gets back to whatever they call normal,” he said.

If you missed it, take heart: help is available online. “It’s probably quicker than having to come down here,” he said.

One church came in to speak to SBA representatives, Kelley said, though he didn’t say which one. (The Rev. Jeffrey Ingraham of Calvary Baptist Church said he expected to go in.)

Kelley saw a few residents of Harbor View and “quite a few” people from Washington Village, which was flooded during the storm.

The Norwalk Housing Authority residents are asking about replacing appliances. “We can fix it up for on them on their individual cases,” he said. “They come in and fill out some paperwork, if we can possibly help them.”

Norwalk is on a par with other Sandy damaged areas he’s been in, he said. “Anywhere you go I feel sorry for the people,” he said. “We do our best.”



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