Chesapeake City Council approves money for Hurricane Matthew aid

Brandi Cummings/WAVY Photo
Brandi Cummings/WAVY Photo

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake City Council has unanimously approved an assistance program for qualified residents impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

60 properties qualify for help through the Hurricane Matthew Assistance Program. Each homeowner who qualifies can get a maximum of $2,000 in assistance from the city.

City of Chesapeake considers financial help for storm victims

Some of the people who will get the help told 10 On Your Side that money would only cover a small portion of their expenses.

“I’ve had no help at all,” Robert Anderson said.

Anderson told 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings he’s felt powerless after the storm. According to Anderson, Matthew destroyed the first floor of his home on Pearl Street.

“We don’t have money to go to a hotel. I don’t have other family in the area so I can’t evacuate my family anywhere else, so were stuck in the house,” he said.

Anderson said seven feet of water damaged his kitchen appliances. Hardwood floors and carpet had to be pulled up. Mold now covers his cabinets.

“It was horrible,” he said.

Two streets over on John Street, WAVY cameras captured the inside of a home. The first floor was gutted. A sink and even toilet bowls were outside. You can still see how high the water rose in some houses.

Steve Jarvis’ home is also on the list created by the city showing properties with major damage.

“I had about 18 inches of water in my garage, about 4 inches shy of coming into my house,” he said.

FEMA guidelines for assessing damage

During a special called meeting Tuesday afternoon, seven Chesapeake City Council members voted unanimously to approve the plan to donate $200,000 to a non-profit organization. It will be responsible for distributing the funds.

But both men say the money will help, a little.

“In reality, the repairs are much more than that, but anything would help. I appreciate the efforts of the council to do that,” Jarvis said.

Anderson echoed that sentiment.

“Anything would help but to be blatantly honest, $2000 dollars, with the amount of damage that happened is a drop in the hat. It’s not going to cover even a fraction of everything that’s damaged,” he said.

10 On Your Side took their concerns to Deputy City Manager Bob Geis. He told Cummings after the city council meeting, “Obviously our hearts go out to you. This may not make you whole and to be honest you’re probably not going to be whole for a long time. But this is at least something the city can do in the immediate after affect.”

Geis said the city plans to contact everyone on the list over the next few days. Since the city council just approved the plan, they are working out the details on when and how the citizens will get that money.