Pinellas County to host webinar to aid Tropical Storm Eta victims

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Jim Lawson is at his wits end. He lives in the Twin City mobile home park on Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg. His mobile home was one of many that were underwater when Tropical Storm Eta hit last month and despite weeks of trying to get help, he’s still hitting brick walls.

“I don’t know what I can do,” said Lawson. “I know there are people out there that are in worse shape than me. And I’m not saying boo hoo me. I’m just saying I’ve been trying to make my life better for a while. “

After the storm, he and his son pulled up the flooring, but that hasn’t stopped the mold from growing. The floors are so spongy in spots, they are difficult to walk on.

“You can see the dark spots in the floor,” said Lawson as he walked over to his Christmas tree. “You walk over there, watch the tree.” The tree wobbled back and forth as Lawson walked near it.

Tropical Storm Eta was an unusual storm event, as it left pockets of damage along the coast and in low-lying areas, therefore it’s much more difficult to document.

Pinellas County leaders know there are a number of residents in Lawson’s same shoes waiting for help from the government and haven’t gotten it. The county is hosting a webinar on Tuesday evening beginning at 6 p.m. to inform storm victims what they need to do to request aid and if and when they can expect it.

Joe Borries is the county’s emergency management operations manager and will be speaking during the webinar.

“There are some resources out there and we want to make sure that they (county residents) know about them. “

Borries explains the county is currently assembling a damage assessment tally to forward to the state, which will then forward the data to FEMA. The hope is, the federal government will step in and offer aid and supplies to storm damage victims.

Borries tells Eight on Your Side, one key thing storm victims need to do is go to the county’s website and document their damage as soon as possible.

“We created an online tool where citizens can go and document their damages in their home. It’s right underneath special interest, Tropical Storm Eta.” said Borries. “And they can actally post the damages they have. “

Those interested in the webinar can register at this website.

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