Post-Hurricane outreach center opens in New Kent

NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) - A disaster outreach center is now open to help people in New Kent county rebuild after Hurricane Irene. New Kent was one of the hardest hit areas in the state.

Now, residents and business owners have one central place they can go  to get answers for post-hurricane problems.

The outreach center is located inside the New Kent visitors center at 7324 Vineyards Parkway.

It's staffed with federal and local representatives, as well as, folks with the small business administration.

"Folks can come here and find out 'what happens if my tree uprooted my septic tank' or 'how do I deal with damage in the yard or trees down,'" said Fire Chief Tommy Hicks.

Renters, business owners and homeowners can also get information on individual low interest disaster loans.

"Our limit is $200,000 on a house and $40,000  for content and they have to qualify for that. We look at credit and how much they can afford to pay," said SBA spokesperson, Marilyn Edwards.

It's information Michelle Smith wants to learn more about. A tree sliced her house in half. A month later the tree is gone, and her home is destroyed.

"I'm just going ahead and filling out the applications and getting that done with. If we do need further assistance this will be available," said Smith.

The county estimates $14 million in damage to residential properties, alone.

"Because of the damage and challenging economic times folks are going through, we feel it's important to have that outreach option," said Hicks.

The county is encouraging those in the community to take advantage of the outreach center while it lasts.

The center will be open on specific days for two weeks. If you can't make it during that time period and you have questions regarding loans to help with repairs caused by the storm, you're encouraged to contact the county administration office.

Until October 6, the outreach center will be open on weekdays from 10a.m. until 7p.m., and Saturday from 9a.m. until 1 p.m.

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