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FEMA crews assess flood damage in Frederick County

FEMA crews assess flood damage in Frederick County (FEMA)

It's been just over a week since historic flooding left much of Frederick County underwater.

On Thursday, FEMA and Maryland's Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) conducted preliminary damage assessments in some of the hardest hit areas.

MEMA says it's the first step in determining whether federal assistance is needed.

The State of Maryland has 30 days to decide if it will request a Presidential Disaster Declaration. If requested and granted, the declaration would provide federal funding and resources to help impacted communities recover from the floods.

In the meantime, the local Frederick County community is stepping up to help.

"It's the silver lining in the sense that, when you're at your lowest, your local community lifts you up," said Bob Berberich, who owns Vinyl Acres record shop on East Patrick Street.

The store was flooded with about 18 inches of water after last week's heavy rains. Berberich says the damage to the shop is extensive, and about 4,000 records were destroyed.

"We also have a loss of income, so it's not just replacing everything, it's the loss of income," he said, estimating the shop would be closed for at least a month.

That's why the Downtown Frederick Partnership started a GoFundMe page benefitting his business. Already, it's brought in more than $13,000 in donations.

"With the help I'm getting, I'm going to survive. My family's going to survive and the store is going to survive," said Berberich.

That same local support helped get him through another flood that damaged the shop in 2015. He said he's even more grateful for the assistance the second time around.

"It was heartbreaking to see all those records go," he said. "To me, it's not just my business. It's a piece of history."

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