ST CROIX, V.I. -- Almost 3,000 Virgin Islanders have registered for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), disaster assistance officials announced today. Two thousand seventy-two of the registrants are from St. Croix, one hundred nine are from St. Thomas and two from St. John. Four hundred fifty-nine households have received checks from FEMA worth $479,102.47. Inspectors are in the field continuing to verify damages reported by victims of Hurricane Lenny.
The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $68,700 for two home loans and $46,800 for two business loans.
"The majority of those who have registered with us have been referred to the Individual and Family Grant program," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Byrne. "That program is primarily funded by FEMA but is administered by the Territory, and we expect them to begin processing those referrals soon," he added.
Cruzans are keeping FEMA's Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the Sion Farm Commercial Center on Queen Mary Highway busy with an average of seventy-six people per day since opening day. The DRC is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The same services that are available at the DRC are also available on FEMA's Helpline at 1-800-525-0321. The Helpline is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Virgin Islanders who are expecting a letter or a check from FEMA but have not received either should call the Helpline to verify that their addresses are correct and to check with their post offices to see if their mail is being held for them.
Disaster recovery officials are still encouraging those who suffered damages from Hurricane Lenny to register with FEMA by calling 1-800-462-9029. That toll free number is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.