San Marcos invites flood victims to town hall meeting

San Marcos resident Ginger Dickerson says she and her fiancé were out of town when neighbors called to tell her they'd been evacuated due to flooding last month.

When they finally got home, they found a muddy disaster.

"It was just devastating to come home and see what you worked for for so long...and then you looked there, it's just mud, it's just the blink of an eye," Dickerson said.

Now she's paying a mortgage and monthly rent for an apartment until her house can get repaired.

"We're waiting on our insurance money to give us money because FEMA won't give us anything until they know how much our insurance is going to cover...and our insurance won't give us any money until we get all the paperwork in," she said.

It's frustrations like this that prompted the City of San Marcos to bring in FEMA experts and the Small Business Administration to clear things up at a town hall meeting on Wednesday.

"We want people to have every opportunity to get every benefit that's available to them and so this is going to help them with some of that," said Kristi Wyatt with the City of San Marcos.

Robin Smith with FEMA says quickly registering for help is important. A big complaint they get though is victims receiving complicated letters from FEMA and thinking they're getting turned down. She says those letters aren't the final answer.

"I always describe it as...the equivalent of 'we're sorry FEMA can't help you right now because we need additional information.' So if you receive a letter please do call," Smith said

The city also addressed the permitting process

"Because of this situation, we've done some things to help expedite that process and to help people who are really struggling to get that done," Wyatt said.

For the repairs that do need a permit, the city says those fees will be waived for homes in the affected area of the city.

Dickerson has another concern as well.

She believes a new student apartment complex near her home may have diverted more water into her neighborhood. We asked the city about this and they say it's something residents have asked them to look into.