The verdict is still out whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide money for residents in Charleston and Berkeley counties who were impacted by Hurricane Matthew.
Derrec Becker, spokesman for the S.C. Emergency Management Division, said the two counties are included in the request for federal funding.
South Carolina is seeking individual assistance for 20 counties. So far, Dorchester and 16 others have been approved.
The FEMA program provides money for temporary rental assistance, home repairs, low-cost loans and other needs.
“It’s an ongoing process of approval and we hope to have eligibility information about additional counties from FEMA very soon,” Becker said.
Before funding can be granted, local emergency management offices have to take reports from residents and send them to state officials. The state takes those assessments and requests federal funding for counties.
FEMA spokesman William Lindsey said once the agency grants approval, residents can apply for assistance. Those applications can be accessed at www.disasterassistance.gov, or by calling 800-621-3362. Those who are deaf or have trouble hearing should call 800-462-7585.
Lindsey said FEMA will then send an inspector to residents’ homes to assess the damage. Residents are encouraged to take pictures of damages and keep receipts that show how much they’ve had to spend.
Mike Forismano, director of emergency services for Dorchester County, said residential damages exceeded $20 million.
“It’s very good that we got that approved because we know our residents need it,” he said.
Berkeley County officials say residents suffered $6.7 million in private resident and small business damages.
Charleston County said it does not have cost estimates yet but that residents reported nearly 900 impacted structures.
Residents are still encouraged to report their damages. Charleston County emergency management division can be reached at 843-746-3900. The number for Berkeley County is 843-719-4166. Dorchester County emergency management division is 843-832-0341.
Reach Derrek Asberry at 843-937-5517. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry.