Paul Hewitt showed us his house on Drager Road in East Donegal Township, or at least what's left of it.
Hewitt's home was severely damaged from flooding back on July 24th. He didn't have flood insurance at the time, but he got it cleaned up. One month later, he got slammed again. This time, with five feet of water inside his house.
“I can start crying right now if you want,” Hewitt said. “Yeah it’s been bad.”
Hewitt received a little less than $600 from the Red Cross. He's extremely grateful for their help, but he said, that's it. He reached out to Senator Toomey, Governor Wolf, state reps, and East Donegal Township. The Township told him to fill out a damage assessment form on their website. He got an email back.
“They told me that unless they get 2 million dollars aggregate damage in here, FEMA won’t even touch us,” Hewitt said. “So I got 60-70 thousand dollars worth of damage, I don’t know what they have over there, but we’re not going to come close to that. And because we don’t have enough damage they’re throwing us under the bus.”
Hewitt has flood insurance now, and is waiting to get the money from his claim to start cleaning up from the second flood.
“Ya know, I really don’t care about the house. I lost the stuff, but it’s just stuff,” Hewitt said. “My problem is the lack of concern, the lack of help, the lack of anything from anyone. I’m completely out on my own on this, and I would think that somebody would have be an advocate; the State, the County, the Township.”
And someone did. Bill Jaffe from Congressman Smucker's office saw we were doing this story, and sent us a tweet about a program that could help Hewitt, as well as others in the area. Combined loans and grants that could add up to almost 28 thousand dollars in assistance, if eligible. But up until this point, it's been nothing but heartache for Hewitt, who said all he wanted was a hand up, not a hand out.
“I’m deeply hurt,” Hewitt said. “I’m retired from the Navy. I’m a disabled veteran. And that’s, you know… no veteran’s organization has - you think they would say, ‘hey let’s rally around him. Let’s circle the wagon. Let's help the guy out,’ nobody.”
Right now Hewitt is staying at a nearby hotel for $75 a night, which he's paying for out of pocket.
If you'd like to contact Paul Hewitt to help, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org If you or someone you know is in a similar situation as Hewitt, there are additional resources and organizations FOX43 found that can help:
You can also dial 211 which can help connect you with services you might need.