The Federal Emergency Management Agency held the first of four applicant briefings across the state Tuesday morning, and Barbour County was one of the first to participate.
Superstorm Sandy kept parts of Barbour County without power for almost two weeks. On Tuesday, community organizations gathered at the 911 Center to begin the process of applying for federal aid. The Barbour County Senior Center was one organization that got slammed by the storm. It said it was most worried for its clients.
"They're our biggest concern, so with this storm we were without power from Tuesday to Saturday, so we weren't able to open the center," said the Center's Brenda Wilmoth.
And that was only the beginning. Representatives from a wide range of groups filled out the first of what will be a series of forms to get funding to cover their losses. And those needs come from all different areas.
"PSDs, local PSDs, the cities, the municipalities, the hospital, hospice, Family Resource Network, the 911 center, the fire departments, and they're just trying to recoup some of the cost, the over time, and the equipment they had to purchase during the storm and because of the storm," said Cindy Hart, director of the Barbour County Office of Emergency Management.
And getting that money back is very important to those groups. Hart said she spent almost a quarter of her yearly budget on recovery efforts. Wilmoth said even though the senior center is back on its feet, it is in need of supplies it lost during the storm.
"Our biggest issue right now is that we used most of our shelf-stable emergency meals that normally last through the winter in about one week. So now we don't really have the funds to replace those," said Wilmoth.
Wilmoth says she's been following up on leads to try and help get those losses covered.
FEMA will hold similar sessions for other affected counties throughout the week. A second session Tuesday afternoon included representatives from Lewis County.