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Disaster Recovery Center gives more hope to victims of historic flooding

MIDDLETON (WKOW) — A Disaster Recovery Center is now open in Dane County to help those still recovering from the historic flooding this summer.

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and other Wisconsin agencies will be at the center to do what they can for those in need.

“We are here to help,” said Carmen G. Rodriguez with FEMA. “We are going to be here as long as the state and the county needs us.”

FEMA has set up camp in Middleton with no plans of leaving any time soon.

“It’s important because the community needs to know what services are available for them,” Rodriguez said.

The U.S. Small Business administration is also at the center.

“The situation is not the one that you would ask for but being able to give advice, to give encouragement, to let them know what’s available, you know, to give hope to a community,” said Dorris Evans, public affairs officer with the SBA.

The disaster center opened on Monday.

“They’ve got a lot of resources, I’m very grateful,” said Shirley Noles.

Noles’ home was damaged by the flooding. She lives near Highway 14 in Middleton.

“It flooded my basement,” she said. “It took apples from the back of my lot to the highway. It was just amazing.”

She went to the center as soon as it opened to get help.

“It’s very difficult for any individual to track through a complex system, and the system is very complex and they do a good job of leading the way,” she said.

Noles says the center is better than what she imagined.

“It was more, it was more,” Noles said. “You hear all kinds of things about FEMA and I can say that they really surpassed any expectation I had.”

She feels confident she’ll recover.

“I’m old enough to understand this is another bump in the road and you just keep on chucking, that’s what you do,” she said.

The Dane County Disaster Resource Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm. It is located at 2413 Parmenter Street in Middleton.

There is also a Disaster Resource Center in Sauk County. That one is open at the same hours at 1375 Main Street in Reedsburg.

Before visiting a recovery center, survivors should register for federal assistance one of the
following ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov;
  • Using the FEMA App; or
  • Call 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

Amanda Hari

Reporter, WKOW

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