NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Although two months have passed, many families and businesses across Middle Tennessee are still working to recover from the severe flooding back in March.
For flood victims like Stephanie Guertin, memories of the storm are far from in the past.
“We got up, opened the door, and the water’s to the top of the steps,” Guertin recalled.
She remembered a truck driving through her subdivision and blaring its horn to alert neighbors to the danger. Within 25 minutes, Guertin knew it was time to evacuate.
“We tried to grab a suitcase and hooked up the camper and left,” she said. “It was up to our porch.”
Guertin lives along Sevenmile Creek and said several of her neighbors are still displaced.
Although waters have subsided, big bills remain for many impacted by spring storms. To help those still recovering, federal and local agencies have come together to set up three Multi-Agency Recovery Centers, or MARC.
Business owners and homeowners can meet in-person with representatives from various organizations, including TEMA, FEMA, SBA, Nashville OEM, the American Red Cross, Hands On Nashville, Catholic Charities, and the Hispanic Family Foundation.
Organizers recommend anyone impacted by the storm show up, even if they didn’t think they qualified for benefits.
“People may apply for several different things or maybe just a couple. And that’s why we thought it was important for our long-term recovery group to be here, the different organizations that can offer long-term benefits for people that are here local that maybe they… don’t qualify for something under FEMA, they can still qualify for a lot of the services and the aid that we’re able to give at a local level,” said Diane Janbakhsh, Executive Director of the Hispanic Family Foundation and owner of Plaza Mariachi.
Belen Nunez attended the event hoping to get help after floodwaters damaged her apartment.
“Disaster, disaster, ugly, ugly, ugly,” Nunez described. “My clothes, furniture, everything.”
Janbakhsh said the recovery centers are about restoring hope for her.
“The kids, they don’t know necessarily what’s going on, but when they see their parents a little bit more relaxed, they see that they’re getting some help. They’re getting the money that they need or the assistance, or the items that they’re in need of; it lifts the burden off of the children,” Janbakhsh said.
Guertin said at the end of the day, she’s glad her and her neighbors are okay, even if a long road to recovery lies ahead.
“We miss them walking. They’re kids; they’re dogs,” Guertin said. “They’re rebuilding and I can’t wait until they’re back, because we miss them.”
In-person recovery centers are set to be open for roughly two weeks, although organizers said dates might end early depending on demand. For up-to-date information, click here.
In addition to these temporary sites, you can also apply for disaster loans online. Storm victims have until July 7 to apply for physical damage loans and until February 8, 2022 for economic injury.