Chesapeake family has $22,000 in damages, glad for Virginia disaster declaration

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Waist deep water, six totaled cars and a backyard no one can enjoy anymore. The Grove family has a 3-inch thick stack of insurance paperwork to fill out.

"Right now what are we at about $22,000 and climbing?" Greg asked his wife Susan, who nodded.

Tuesday, Nov. 2, President Obama declared Virginia a federal disaster. Meaning money is available to the victims of Hurricane Matthew living in Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. People with damages can apply for help starting Wednesday.

"It's a shame it took so long. We're only 20 miles away from North Carolina and that was declared a disaster area like that. But I'm glad that's out there for people to get help."

Grove is used to seeing flooding after serving in the Navy, just not in Hampton Roads. Greg used to live in New Orleans.

"I've had more impact to this house both physically and financially than I had to the house in New Orleans in Katrina," said Grove. He's had to rip out all the duct work, including the metal ductwork, and insulation underneath the house and replace it.

There is still more work to do and like many families, the Groves can't afford to finish the job. The disaster declaration will allow people to apply for grants for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help.

To apply, register online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.