Federal money hasn't arrived for Napa quake victims

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FEMA assistance has not arrived for Napa homeowners nearly two months after the earthquake hit.

Nine weeks after the Napa earthquake that destroyed and damaged so many homes and businesses, the recovery has begun. But the federal assistance for individual property owners is nowhere to be found.

Randy Brown is not unlike most of his neighbors and hundreds of others in Napa that had significant property damage after the earthquake.

In Brown's case, the repairs to his 19-year-old house will likely run about 150-thousand dollars. And like 97 percent of quake victims in Napa, Brown has no earthquake insurance.

"What the guys are doing now is just getting us back to ground zero in terms of the height of the house. We have to lift the foundation back up," said Brown.

That involved inserting new piers into the ground, more than 90 feet down and then trying to raise the structure with hydraulic jacks.

Steve Egloff, president of Bay Area Underpinning, says his company has looked at many houses with damage but the homeowners often can't afford to proceed.

Brown is among about 1,000 private property owners in Napa, still waiting for FEMA to determine whether they are eligible for individual assistance in the wake of the August quake. That assistance could include grants or low interest loans.

Brown even wrote to the White House three times asking for FEMA to act more quickly, but he only received a form letter in response.

"As you saw, the letter from the White House said basically when we have emergencies, our citizens should count on us and that was about it," said Brown.

A FEMA spokesman could give ABC7 News no timeframe for a decision, or any guarantee that individual Napa quake victims will receive assistance at all.

PHOTOS: South Napa Earthquake damage
Related Topics:
newsearthquakeprepare norcalnapa countydisastersouth napa earthquakeunstable buildingFEMAhomeownersthe white houseNapa
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