March 25, 2007
WARREN CTY, Ga.---It's been nearly a month since an EF-2 tornado destroyed homes and lives. Today Warren County storm victims say they finally have some hope.
FEMA has added Warren County to the federal disaster list for storm aid.
News 12 spoke with victims about what this news means for them.
"It took a long time coming, but finally it got here," said Bill Hixenbaugh. "Made a lot of us very happy because many of us thought it was our only hope and our only chance."
Neighboring McDuffie County received federal relief from FEMA almost instantly, but warren county waited 25 long days to be added to the list.
"Oh, frustrated...angry, yes," Bill said. "It's enough to make anybody angry."
The Hixenbaughs, like many of their neighbors, cleaned up the damage without the help and resources McDuffie County had. Now they hope the news will help everyone move on.
"I believe FEMA is going to help out a lot of people and be our answer to getting this thing turned around," Dennis Hixenbaugh said. Dennis' mobile home was destroyed first by the tornado.
"In the past month, month and a half, we've came a long way," he said.
He says he and friends cleared the damage piece by piece. Now, where devastation once sat, he and his family say they are ready to rebuild. They hope FEMA's assistance will help him do just that.
"We actually had a man come down for the disaster through FEMA who was doing some research, checking out pictures and taking down information from us. So maybe tomorrow's start will be a brighter future," he said.
"There's just too much here that's been destroyed that it won't be the same," Dawn Hixenbaugh said. "But it should be better. I hope to make it better, and make new memories."
Those in Warren County who suffered storm damage can either call 1-800-621-3362 or visit fema.gov to begin the application process.
The initial application takes about 20 minutes. Once FEMA receives it, an inspector will visit your home to determine what assistance you're eligible for.
No matter how small you think your damage may be, you should make the call, because you could still be eligible for aid.