FEMA teams deploy to flood damaged homes in Wayne, Washtenaw Counties

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Detroit – Federal emergency loans Management Agency disaster assistance teams began door-to-door visits to several towns in Wayne and Washtenaw counties on Wednesday to register residents hard hit by the June flooding for potential assistance.

Following: June flood victims in Wayne, Washtenaw County have until September 13 to seek federal help

FEMA teams started the day in the city’s Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood on the east side. They also visited the owners in Dearborn and Ypsilanti. Six teams will continue to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily in affected areas in both counties for the next few weeks.

Federal disaster teams planned to visit more than 800 homes on Wednesday to gather information on properties damaged by the flooding. Rainstorms on June 25 and 26 threw six inches of rain in Detroit over a five-hour period. Thousands of residents on the east side of town, near Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, and parts of the communities of Grosse Pointe have experienced basement backups.

 

FEMA teams arrived days after President Joe Biden granted a declaration of emergency Thursday for Michigan at the request of Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Affected residents have until September 13 ask for federal assistanceofficials said at a virtual town hall hosted by U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield on Wednesday.

Lawrence was joined by Lt. Gov. Gilchrist, representatives from FEMA, the US Small Business Administration, and the Wayne County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Team.

Whitmer estimated that up to 68,000 applicants could be eligible for about $ 180 million in federal assistance to individuals or households based on preliminary assessments. She told FEMA that “almost none” of the affected households had insurance that would cover typical flood damage.

“We’re here to help the state, county and cities help them with tasks they don’t have the manpower to do,” said Tom Hardy, Intergovernmental Affairs Manager for FEMA.

Hardy said FEMA will be here on the ground for at least a month and most of those in charge stay “until we are no longer needed.”

Detroit resident Dennis Bell received a visit from FEMA on Wednesday morning and was skeptical. He said he “doesn’t trust” that the registration will lead to any help.

When torrential rains flooded his basement in 2014, Bell said he “got nothing for free” and “probably wouldn’t get anything this time.”

In 2014, a record 4.57 inches of precipitation fell over Detroit, prompting President Barack Obama to declare a disaster for the city.

Bell, 62, says a federal loan will be of no use to him. He is retired, he said, and will not be able to pay him back. He hopes to cover the losses himself and plans to “never put anything back” in the basement.

Bell said he checked his basement on the morning of June 26 and was unable to get to the bottom. The water, he said, was several steps high and he estimates the flooding caused at least $ 25,000 in damage, mostly to appliances and tools.

He hopes in the future that the city will better inform residents of rainstorms and the preparations to be made.

“Every time it rains, you cringe like what’s going to happen this time?” ” he added.

The canvassing process will continue until FEMA teams visit “all affected areas,” added Marty Moore, a FEMA task force leader. FEMA agents rely on local authorities to let them know if there are any neighborhoods that have yet to be checked, Moore added.

 

The post-registration process involves an inspector contacting the resident to discuss the damage in more detail. Then FEMA will check if the homeowner’s insurance will cover the damage. If not, they will notify local organizations to help.

After that, the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Assistance Program might offer a loan. If residents have difficulty securing a loan, they could be referred to FEMA for a grant, said Sandy Jasmund, external affairs manager for FEMA.

“We want to make sure that anyone living in Wayne County or Washtenaw knows that they can apply for FEMA help if they are eligible,” Jasmund said.

Julie Garrett, spokesperson for the US Small Business Administration, said September 13 was also the deadline for getting help from her agency. The SBA offers low-interest loans to private non-profit organizations, homeowners and tenants affected by disasters.

More than just canvassing, FEMA teams are also opening temporary offices for the next two months, Jasmund said.

“There will be other types of offices, like disaster recovery centers that will open,” she said. “It will be going on for the next 60 days.”

After this period, local workers will be in place to take charge of the recovery operations.

FEMA is working to “hire local people and train them to take our place – so that it helps the local economy,” Hardy said.

FEMA is divided into ten regions across the United States and its territories. Michigan is in Region 5, which covers six states around the Great Lakes and is headquartered in Chicago.

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