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Assistance centers open for storm victims

February 25, 2010 11:43:46 PM PST
Help is on the way for homeowners who suffered mud and water damage in the recent storms. If your home or car was damaged in the recent storms, you can come to a local assistant center, which was opened on Tuesday and will be open just this week.

Organizers are calling residents and letting them know that they are open, saying they pretty much have every agency that can help you all under one roof.

"It's a one stop shop where we have the federal, state, county, as well as non-profit organizations here to help the residents and all residents of southern California that have suffered from floods or mud and debris flow," said Ken Kondo from the L.A. County Office of Emergency Management.

There are engineers, information about insurance coverage, recovering vital records, even volunteers ready to help you rebuild your home. There's also a federal agency to help with the cost of cleanup. The terms of their low-interest loans can go up to 30 years, and they can even help with insurance deductibles.

"The program provides up to a maximum of $200,000 to repair or replace the home, up to $40,000 to replace personal property damage, which might include furniture, appliances, clothing even vehicles," said Alex Contreras from the small business administration.

It's great news for La Canada Flintridge resident Olivia Brown, who lost a car when a wall of mud came crashing down Ocean View Boulevard last month.

"To be able find records and get access to things that were lost in the flood, it would make it a lot easier than running around to do it," she said.

For Brown, who keeps finding random photos in her yard that were carried down by the mud, a place like the assistance center will be helpful for a long time.

"It's not like the fire which came and went. It's going to be our everyday life for the next five years," she said. "We got rain coming this weekend, and I'm stressed, and I know everybody else is because we've been told that the likelihood of this happening again at a more severe rate is high."

Central Christian Church
5027 New York Ave.
La Crescenta, CA 91214

City of Long Beach Gas and Oil Dept.
2400 E. Spring St.
Long Beach, CA 90806

L.A. County Office of Emergency Management
(323) 980-2260