FEMA awards $240K to Newport News residents

Reema Amin
Contact Reporterramin@dailypress.com

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved $240,649.90 so far in disaster assistance for Newport News residents who applied for help following Hurricane Matthew.

As of Nov. 15, Newport News had received the lowest total amount from FEMA compared to Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, the other cities that President Barack Obama approved to be eligible for disaster assistance in Virginia.

There were 137 registrations filed by residents of Newport News as of Nov. 15, according to FEMA. As of last Friday, FEMA had registered and approved 85 Newport News residents for reimbursements totaling $104,805, according to Troy York, a spokesman for the agency.

The funding is broken into two categories: housing assistance and other needs, like furniture, transportation or medical expenses. Newport News residents received a total of $133,262 in housing assistance and $107,388 for other needs, according to FEMA.

As of Nov. 15, Virginia Beach had received $3,708,422; Chesapeake $424,688; and Norfolk $262,201, according to FEMA.

In Newport News, about 100 units at City Line Apartments had some sort of damage. FEMA visited the complex last weekend and registered 60 residents who were staying at nearby hotels.

The agency said that sometimes, people who apply may have left small details out of their application — correcting that error could overturn a denial from FEMA. Some common examples of missing information are an insurance settlement or denial letter and proof of ownership of the damaged house. Also, the address given during the application process should be the one where the damage occurred.

Adequate insurance coverage also could be a reason why disaster assistance isn't granted, according to FEMA. Someone may also not qualify if a damaged property was not the applicant's primary residence, or if someone else in the home already received assistance.

Those who have applied can check the status of their application at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362.

Jim's Local Market increases security

Security at Jim's Local Market has been ramped up recently to address shoplifting at the grocery store, owner Jim Scanlon told the Daily Press on Thursday.

Scanlon said he has noticed more instances of shoplifting in recent months. It's an issue that Councilwoman Saundra Cherry brought up at a South District Town Hall meeting last week.

Newport News police recorded five shoplifting offenses at the store between August and November, according to police data. No reports were made in September.

There was one report of shoplifting in August, three in October and one in November, the data show. Those numbers don't necessarily represent how many times it has happened when Scanlon has chosen not to call police.

Now, Scanlon said they have decided to start pressing charges and have added more resources for security.

"We're identifying it and catching it in the process," Scanlon said.

Amin can be reached by phone at 757-247-4890.

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