Homeowners hope for federal assistance as FEMA comes to Memphis


Photo: WREG

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There’s no calm after the storm in Frayser. Homeowners like Rosa Washington’s 62-year-old neighbors are dealing with a home that’s a total loss. A tree fell on it while she was inside Saturday night.

“We came out to try to get her. We tried to go through the side door, but we couldn’t get in there. So we had to break the window. It’s just a blessing she was in the far bedroom,” Washington said.

County officials said they hoped federal and state officials would help homeowners like Washington’s neighbor.

“A rule of thumb [the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency] uses: They’re looking for 100 homes with 50 percent or greater damage or destroyed. We’re looking for 100 of those that are underinsured or uninsured,” said Dale Lane with Shelby County’s Office of Preparedness.

In fact, county officials are meeting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and TEMA on Saturday morning.

“It’s one more step in the process. We’re excited it’s coming this quickly,” Lane said.

But on Daywood Avenue in Frayser, a week feels like a lifetime. The buzz of the chainsaw is constant and there are plenty of phone calls to make.

“Everyday she’s been here at my house taking care of business,” Washington said of her neighbor.

Still, they said the world could learn a lesson from them.

“Love one another. This is what we need. Everyone needs to come through this street and take a look at it,” she said.

MLGW also asked customers for their patience this weekend. With storms expected, crews could be slowed in their work to restore power to more than 18,000 households still waiting.

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