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Published: Wednesday, 8/29/2007

1,980 make calls first day, seeking Ohio flood assistance

FINDLAY The Federal Emergency Management Agency yesterday received 1,980 initial applications for flood assistance during the first day after President Bush declared six northern Ohio counties to be disaster areas, the agency said.

Authorities in Putnam County warned that people seeking disaster assistance should be wary of potential fraud involving telephone callers who claim to represent FEMA and request personal information.

A boil-water advisory in Putnam County was lifted as of4 p.m. yesterday.

Debris collection continues in several communities stricken last week by flooding, though authorities had varying policies concerning household hazardous materials and appliances.

On Monday, President Bush declared residents and business owners in Allen, Crawford, Hancock, Putnam, Richland, and Wyandot counties to be eligible for federal disaster assistance. Those seeking assistance are instructed to contact FEMA at www.fema.gov or 1-800-621-3362 to register, after which FEMA will make contact to schedule an inspection.

Officials advised people to check identification of anyone offering assistance or entering homes, and cautioned that FEMA representatives do not request personal information over the telephone.

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