Recovery Centers Opened for Tornado Victims - NECN

Recovery Centers Opened for Tornado Victims



    (NECN: Brian Burnell) - In the tornado ravaged areas of Massachusetts like East Forest Park in Springfield work is underway and things are starting to get back to at least close to normal. State and federal officials are doing everything they can to help.

    Heavy equipment is a given to deal with the cleanup from a tornado. But so is paperwork. Federal and state emergency management are opening Disaster Recovery Centers across Massachusetts where people can come, tell their story, and get help.

    Lester Antoine told workers here, "I got some windows busted, part of the roof blown off, part of the siding blown off, the garage got decapitated, sort of."

    Lester is one of a small number of people who have started looking into what the government can do to help them rebuild. At the recovery center he can find out what loans or grants might be available to cover damage his insurance might not. Among the resources available... low interest loans from the Small Business Administration. Travis Brown has been with SBA for more than 20 years so he's helped his share of frazzled business owners.

    "There is a degree of confusion and we are able to set them at ease if they'll come in a talk to us and we can tell them what we can and how to access the program."

    Anne Whalen is listening. Her home took a major hit and she's learned the SBA may be able to help her even though she is not a business owner.

    Anne says, "In order to rebuild its going to be a lot more money than what I'm going to be getting from the insurance company which is yet to be determined and I'm hoping here I can get some sort of SBA loan or grant to allow me to rebuild and not to have a tremendous amount of debt."

    9 Disaster Recovery Centers are slated to open in the worst-hit areas over the next couple of days.

    These centers are open every day, Monday through Sunday, from 8am to 7pm and officials say they suspect they will have to keep them open for more than a month.