Hurricane Dennis Aid

Hallam, Nebraska

Folks in St. Marks say it's been a long week since last Sunday when giant tidal surges from Hurricane Dennis rocked the small coastal community. Residents and business owners there have tough decisions to make now.

Seventy-five-year-old Edith Giddens has lived in St. Marks since 1958. Her house is situated close to the coast, but that could change now.

"I'm thinking real strong about getting out of St. Marks, even though I love it. I just can't handle this anymore," shared Giddens.

Giddens' hard wood floors are ruined and almost everything inside has to be thrown away. She says her options concerning her house are somewhat limited because she didn't have flood insurance.

"I can't afford, I cannot afford to have it raised up on stilts, you know, like they're asking for now," added Giddens.

Giddens, like many other St. Marks residents, is meeting with FEMA representatives before making big decisions.

"Men from FEMA are supposed to be by this afternoon to talk with me and he said he's got around 23 to 25 customers he's got to see this afternoon," she said.

Down the road, restaurants such as St. Marks River Cantina are marking the high water point in their businesses, but business owners say they aren't talking about leaving the area; they're working to get their businesses up and running.

Steve Dunbar with the St. Marks River Cantina said, "If folks in Tallahassee or the surrounding areas are wanting to help, you know, they're sitting around wanting a great place to come for the weekend, come stay at the bed and breakfast, come visit just for the day."

So as businesses build back up and FEMA starts to meet with residents, Giddens says change is on the horizon for St. Marks.

FEMA has reported that it has approved nearly $2 million in assistance for victims of Hurricane Dennis so far. FEMA has just started meeting with residents in St. Marks.