FEMA, TEMA touring Memphis to decide on assistance funding

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- John Washington said his next-door neighbors are a family of four. They’re staying in a hotel since a tree smashed in the roof of their Midtown home near Overton Park.

City and county authorities said they were checking out hundreds of homes like the one on Rembert Street every day. They're assessing damage while accompanied by state and federal emergency management representatives.

"We go into those areas, go street to street and note damage to houses," said Lt. Richard Keith with the Memphis Office of Emergency Management. "As we make it from the center of the damaged area, we work to the outskirts of those areas until we determine there's no more damage. Then we move to another area."

Keith explained how experts assessed the damage for their records.

“When we pull up to a house, look at it, look at roof lines and determine whether it’s a 10 percent, 25 percent or 50 percent or 100 percent loss to the house,” he said.

He said they'd compile the records and passing them to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The federal government would decide as soon as possible whether Memphians are eligible for housing assistance and if so, how much, he said.

If you want to make sure officials are assessing your home, you can call the Office of Emergency Management at 901-635-2525.