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Ascension residents seek assistance at FEMA disaster center

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ASCENSION – On Tuesday, people lined up at FEMA disaster centers in Ascension Parish seeking help following last week's flood.

Residents showed up early at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center to register with FEMA and learn about the availability of recovery and housing assistance.

"I thought there would be a bunch of people here, I didn't want to be in the back of the line," Frank Shewmake, Ascension parish resident, said.

Shewmake was the first person in line, with his lawn chair, expecting a long line. Similar to many others, Shewmake spent the last week gutting his home.

"Six inches is like having 2-6 foot. You gotta rip everything out," Shewmake said.

Also at the disaster center were representatives from the Small Business Administration, which can provide home or business loans.

"SBA can offer up to $200,000 for homeowners to repair their homes," Cynthia Cowell, SBA representative, said.

Home owners can also get an additional $40,000 for items lost during the flood. Businesses can borrow up to $2 million for a combination of lost business and property. However interest rates are different with home owners having the lowest.

"About a point and a half, for business. It's about four percent, so it's still pretty reasonable," Cowell said.

Shewmake said that seeking assistance is his last option.

"My insurance is not going to help, none at all, so you just gotta wait," Shewmake said.

Disaster recovery centers are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. this week. A list of those can be found here.

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