$200,000 available for some Chesapeake storm victims

13News Now Audrey Esther has the story

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- There's now $200,000 available to help storm victims in Chesapeake, if they qualify for a new flooding assistance program. 

"We tried our best and we did. It's just unfortunate that we lost a few things along the way," says Chesapeake resident Rocky Rossi.

His families items were lost to the nearly six feet of flood water that filled the first floor of their home.

"The water ended up coming in and around the house," he says.

A house that this Western Branch resident says he doesn't have flood insurance for because it isn't in a flood zone.

"So we didn't have to get it, but it flooded and now we're paying a lot of out of pocket," he says for repairs that so far have cost about $10,000. "We started up our own GoFundMe campaign.

"I think this is a unique set of circumstances," says Chesapeake's Deputy City Manager, Bob Geis.

He says the massive flooding lead city officials to come up with a unique assistance program to give residents who qualify up to $2,000 to pay for debris removal, housing, moving expenses, as well as personal items such as clothing and food.

"As we were building this program we wanted to make sure we were helping people in greatest need," Geis says.

Those who are in greatest need he says are those living in about 60 homes that were determined by FEMA's guidelines to be either destroyed or have major damage.

"It's going to be cash in some form," Geis says.

The local nonprofit ForKids will distribute the financial assistance.  

"They take care of people in homeless crisis every day. So we felt it was important to go to someone who really knew what they were doing," Geis says.

"Our teams work very quickly able to distribute cash assistance and that's kind of what Chesapeake needed at this moment," says Thayler McCormick with ForKids.

McCormick says ForKids will begin distributing the financial assistance to qualified residents in the next couple of days.


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