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FEMA closes in-person recovery center in Lake Charles

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 8:26 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The FEMA Recovery Service Center in the Lake Charles Civic Center closed permanently at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7.

Time has run out for in-person FEMA help in Southwest Louisiana; although, many are still working through the recovery process from Hurricane Laura.

Many residents were taking advantage of their last chance to speak to a FEMA representative in person Thursday.

“My house got totally destroyed, and I went through FEMA,” Lake Charles resident David Nelson said. “FEMA couldn’t help me, but SBA was willing to help me to get relocated and find a place.”

Even though Nelson wasn’t able to get assistance through FEMA, he was at the recovery center to collect some FEMA papers - all while staying positive and patient through his experience.

“Well, the recovery process, I’m doing pretty good, you know,” Nelson said. “Nothing really to complain about, you know. I made it through it.”

However, not everyone has been as patient as Nelson, as many residents are still frustrated in their own recovery process.

“FEMA should be looked at as a life jacket, versus a lifeboat,” Erin Gaddis with FEMA said. “So, we are here just to kind of support you and to just get you from point A and point B. And then we have other resources like your insurance claim and SBA and other individuals who can come in and help you as well.”

Gaddis said FEMA understands that many are upset with their applications after Hurricane Laura.

“Feel free to always go through the appeal process,” Gaddis said. “You may find that it may just be a missing document or just some missed information.”

She said when filling out appeals, make sure you have all the correct documentation.

“Government ID and proof of residency and insurance information as well,” Gaddis said.

Gaddis adds additional documents that would help your case are also welcome, as these are services intended to help individuals get back on their feet.

Those still needing assistance can contact FEMA’s Hotline: 1-800-621-3362 or FEMA’s Fax: 1-800-827-8112

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