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Brookston Tries To Keep Scammers Out Following Storms

Chris Morisse Vizza

White County officials are advising Brookston residents to beware of scammers as cleanup continues from last week’s storm.

County Emergency Management Director Chantel Henson says even while the roads into and out of town were closed last week, both reputable insurance adjusters and dishonest fraudsters posing as officers of FEMA tried to sneak into town.

“We’ve only had like, maybe, six or eight reports of it – so not, like, 100 people calling in saying it," Henson says. "So I’m not sure if not everyone’s reporting it. But we did advise people that if they hear that someone’s from FEMA that they’re not.”

Henson says she doesn’t think the county will meet the threshold to apply for state disaster assistance grants.

Scammers May Not Get Money, But The State Might Not Give Any Either

Though the wind storm toppled grain bins and threw trees into homes, some farmers are telling county officials they don’t want to deal with the hassle of apply for state money to fix their property.

Henson says she’s heard from a handful of farmers who think it might be too much trouble.

“Several of the people in the area that have been affected – the farmers in the area – I don’t really think they’re interested in the financial assistance, if it is going to be available – from the people that we’ve talked to, anyway," she says.

Henson says different amounts of damage trigger the state’s ability to offer aid to farmers, homeowners or a municipality.

She says the county is also unlikely to seek money because the storm did less than $89,000 in damage to public property, which is the minimum for state aid.