Washington volunteer isn't seeing help

By WEEK Producer

December 31, 2013 Updated Jan 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill.-- While some are getting help others complain they're not. One Washington volunteer has taken to social media to find help from state and federal governments.

She says so far her group has met victims needs, but maybe not for long.

FEMA, Red Cross and city representatives say help is out there. But the volunteer we spoke to says there is too much red tape around it making it impossible to get access to it.

"Why are we sending them through 20 different processes at a time. Nobody can keep up. They are wore out, they are worn down. They are doing everything asked of them and they still aren't getting the help. They are coming up short, they are in trouble," said Washington resident April Crotts.

Some Georgetown Apartment residents are finding it especially difficult to get help.

The apartment manager says that's because of a list that doesn't exist. The city had possession of the complex for nine days after the tornado.

The apartment manager says she was told OSHA came in and deemed some buildings unsafe and others okay to enter.

Now she needs that list to help residents get FEMA help. She says she found out Tuesday no one has that list.

"In some aspects they're all being denied. Whether it's personal property or for housing assistance because they can't say they were denied access," said Georgetown apartment manager, Tara Denham.

A FEMA spokesperson says 80 percent of the people from the Georgetown Apartments have filed for FEMA aid.

For others, the registration remains incomplete because FEMA is being denied an inspection.

If the buildings are unsafe, FEMA needs documentation of that in order to proceed with the applications.

City Administrator Tim Gleason says there was never a city condemnation on any of the buildings.

He says the manager is referring to a volunteer group of structural engineers that came in and did a quick assessment of the buildings.

Gleason says it was up to the apartment's owner to hire a structural engineer for a complete assessment.

The manager says they have hired a structural engineer that has deemed some of the buildings unsafe.

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