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The Sluice Pond Association Board of Directors is in contact with Lynn Water and Sewer regarding their control of the pond water level through the opening and closing of the Sluice gate that enables water to flow to Flax Pond. As many of you are aware, there has been a persistant problem with water level regulation during spring floods. The flood control has been a problem for years. The water in Sluice Pond is currently being maintained at the level set by the city council when Spring flood water receeds.

At the April 7, 2010 meeting, the Sluice Pond Association Board of Directors listened to the problems of residents caused by the local flooding. A Sluice Pond Emergency Response and Flood Committee formed in 2006 to assist residents in need and to prepare efforts to assist senior neighbors in the future. Contact Laura Ippoliti for information.

FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Centers
Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) will be open beginning Wednesday, April 7, 2010 in five locations in Massachusetts to assist individuals, households and businesses affected by the severe storms and record-rainfall that flooded large areas of the state beginning March 12, 2010.

Each DRC is staffed with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) disaster recovery specialists, who are ready to help survivors through the process of applying for disaster assistance.

Homeowners, renters and business owners are urged to register before visiting a DRC by calling FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). Multilingual operators are available. Those with speech or hearing impairment may callTTY 800-462-7585to apply. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate 7:00AM to 10:00PM daily until further notice. Registration can also be done online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

Once registered, FEMA disaster recovery specialists at a center can check an individual’s case, answer questions about their claim, or request information FEMA needs to process their claim.

Recovery specialists can also supply contacts for other programs that may provide help as well as suggest low-cost risk-reduction measures to make homes or businesses safer. Other federal agency representatives at the centers include IRS tax specialists to discuss disaster-related issues. Representatives from volunteer agencies are also available to suggest existing community resources to help in the recovery process.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) representatives will be on hand at DRCs to meet with individuals and business owners to answer any questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, help them complete their SBA disaster loan application and accept the completed disaster loan applications. Anyone not able to go to a DRC should call the SBA Customer Service Center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday, at 800-659-2955 for information and assistance or visit the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations. These loans are to repair or replace homes, businesses and personal property not covered by insurance and damaged by the recent flooding.

Locations and daily hours are:
Essex County
Flint Public Library
1 South Main Street
Middleton, MA 01949
Monday - Thursday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m.- 5 p.m.

When calling or registering online have the following information available:
• Your current phone number;
• Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying;
• Your Social Security number, if available;
• A general list of damages and losses you suffered;
• If insured, the name of your company or agent and your policy number;
• General financial information; and
• Bank account coding if you wish to speed up receiving your assistance with direct deposit

Don't prejudge your eligibility, even if you don't have all of the information necessary or it was lost in the flood. Even if you have already registered with the Red Cross, Salvation Army or another voluntary agency or have reported damage to county or local officials, you can only apply for assistance programs under the disaster declaration by calling FEMA's toll-free number or registering online.

FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Residents should contact their insurance agent first, and then they should call FEMA to apply. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of loans. The FEMA representative will explain the details to you when you call.
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