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Southcrest flood victim to receive partial aid from FEMA

Southcrest flood victim to receive partial aid from FEMA
Posted at 4:57 PM, Feb 27, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A flood victim in Southcrest says she’s frustrated after learning she will receive only partial assistance from FEMA.

For Katherine LeMoine, the remnants of her flooded home on Beta Street are a reminder of the long road ahead, as well as that January day, when flood waters submerged her home of more than four decades, ruining nearly all the belongings of her family of 6, including all the furniture.

She hired restoration contractors and during the demo process, lead was detected and had to be removed.

Fortunately, LeMoine did have flood insurance, which will cover the dry out and rebuild of the home.

But when she called her insurance, she was told her three-decade-old granny flat and her garage, both flooded out, were not covered, along with the belongings throughout the house.

She says that loss could total more than $50,000.

Her family applied for assistance from FEMA.

On Friday, a FEMA worker conducted an hour-long inspection.

The next day, she logged into her FEMA account and learned a decision had been made: she was not approved for any assistance involving her home or the losses inside.

“I get all red, all flushy. I felt like the flood had come again,” said LeMoine. “It’s a feeling of uncertainty, of not knowing. I need these people to help me. I have no home.”

A few days later, she was approved for more than $5,600 in rental assistance, or hotel vouchers. Her family is currently at a hotel, using County vouchers.

“I'm grateful, grateful,” said LeMoine.

But the denial from FEMA stings.

“Losing everything we worked so hard for, sometimes you just want to give up,” said an emotional LeMoine.

In an emailed letter, FEMA didn't offer a specific reason for the denial, but did say if insurance gives out more than $42,500, FEMA can't help with ‘any additional expenses.’

It also says LeMoine can appeal the decision, once her insurance officially determines what it will and will not cover.

LeMoine plans to do just that.

“I have a warrior spirit and I won't give up. I will stand through the storm,” said LeMoine.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family recover their losses.

A FEMA spokesperson issued the following statement:

“We cannot comment on assistance or next step for specific individuals. I would encourage an individual who was denied for assistance to reach out to our help line phone number or visit a Disaster Recovery Center to discuss the reason for the denial and discuss next steps.

How Do I Appeal the Final Decision?
If you receive a letter stating that you are ineligible for assistance or that your application is incomplete, you can still complete the application or appeal the decision within 60 days of receiving a decision letter. The letter would either be mailed to you or placed into your Disaster Assistance Center account, if you have set up an account.

An appeal is a written request to FEMA to review your file again, and an opportunity to provide new or additional information not previously submitted that may affect the decision. You may appeal any decision by FEMA regarding your application for Individual Assistance, such as your initial eligibility decision, the amount or type of assistance provided to you, late applications, requests to return money, or a denial of Continued Temporary Housing Assistance.

If you have questions regarding the letter, you received or how to file an appeal, you may contact a FEMA Helpline agent at 1-800-621-3362. You may also choose to request a copy of your file from FEMA to help you understand why you received the decision you want to appeal. You may also choose to request a copy of your file from FEMA to help you understand why you received the decision you want to appeal.”