Wednesday, April 25, 2012
"I was the second one out of the shelter, and I saw the devastation. It looked like a war zone. There were flames shooting in the air, debris everywhere. It was a total nightmare," said Bill Richter.
At that moment, Richter and his family knew they were homeless.
The EF-3 tornado tore away two mobile homes his family owned.
"We lived there for 12 years. We didn't have any insurance. We tried to get some help, but FEMA isn't coming to help," said Richter.
Many of the home-owners in the Pinaire Mobile Home Park faced the same issue; their homes were either too old to insure, or the cost to insure them would have been more than the home's worth.
FEMA doesn't care about those facts.
"We haven't met the criteria. We needed to have 250 homes that are 40% destroyed that do not have insurance. We're not even close to that number," said Bill Buchanan, Sedgwick County Manager.
Now, residents like Richter are left fending for themselves, and applying for loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
"At least someone is saying they're here to try to help," said Richter. "So many people lost their homes. Somebody should help. Somebody should have stepped up. As usual, FEMA dropped the ball."
Residents interested in applying for a loan with the U.S. Small Business Administration, are encouraged to visit the Carlton School at 4900 S. Clifton from 9-6, Monday-Friday.
Loans offer interest rates of less than 2%, for 30 years.
For more information, call the SBA at 800-659-2955.