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FEMA leaving Elkhart County soon, officials urge flood victims to make claims

ELKHART, Ind. --- FEMA is set to leave Elkhart County as early as next week, according to a county recovery task force.

FEMA has been documenting claims in the county, since the floods back in February, to request the state pay for damage costs.

"Right now, while FEMA is here we need to give them a full and accurate picture of the reality for homeowners here in Elkhart County,” said Keith Sarber, the VP of the United Way of Elkhart County.

However, local snowbirds are a worry for the task force. Sarber said people who are down South for the winter may come home to a flood-damaged home and it may be too late for them to make a claim.

"We are in a holding pattern," Sarber said. "We heard a week ago that folks feel like they’re walking around in a fog, and help is out there but getting it organized and getting a claims process just takes time.”

The long recovery task force is made up of local organizations:

The Salvation Army, that will collect damage claims.

La Casa, that will oversee day-to-day operations for repairs.

United Way, that will deal with finances once claims are submitted.

Sarber said to make a claim to call 211 or reach out to the Elkhart County Emergency Management Department at 574-891-2238.

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