DEARBORN (CBS DETROIT) – A town hall meeting was held in Dearborn Heights Tuesday evening to provide information to residents who are dealing with flood damage at their homes.
At the Hype Youth Center it was standing room only for people who were looking for help on how best to handle the clean-up following flooding at their homes.
“People don’t know what to expect,” said one attendee. “There hasn’t been a national emergency declared, they are wondering how they are going to pay for things they can’t afford and this has really devastated a lot of families.”
Attorney Tarric Baydoun with the Community Improvement Project hosted the meeting , the non-profit group called the meeting to inform residents of their rights and what to expect as they clean-up and recover from flood damage.
“We’ve been getting hundreds of calls from Dearborn, Dearborn Heights – all over the region … of people complaining that water was as high as six feet, and in their basements, this has never happened before, this is going to require a repair bill that most people are not insured for and most people can not afford.
Scott Pearl has about 12 inches of water in his basement and his concern is contamination.
“We’ve already made a claim with our insurance agency and we asked them if we should remove the items or just leave them for the adjuster to come and look at and they suggested that we take photos, videos and that would be good enough.”
In Ferndale, owner of the Woodward Avenue Brewery, Chris Johnson bemoaned his bad luck – both his business and house have flooded.
“People all around have 2 feet, at work we’ve got about … four feet in the basement – but it’s since gone down,” said Johnson.
“We still have yet to open because I-75 is closed – there is so much traffic that is rerouted through Woodward that it’s really hard for people to get around – including our employees, everyone, so we just decided we’d stay closed.
The plan is to reopen fully on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday morning a state of emergency has been declared in Ferndale.
In Warren, now that authorities have had a chance to access some of the storm damage, does the city of Warren qualify for Federal aid?
“If the United States can help out foreign countries and foreign cities with aid because of disaster then certainly FEMA can look at Warren – the third largest city in the state and say that we owe something to help out Americans in need,” said Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.
And is the city a disaster area?
“I believe that it is absolutely paramount that the governor and the congress work together to convince FEMA that Michigan should be declared a disaster area,” said Fouts.
So far, no determination has been made as to whether or not FEMA will be asked to respond.
The storm has claimed at least three lives, officials said. A 31-year-old woman died after being trapped inside her car in more than three-feet of water in Warren; a 100-year-old woman drowned in her Warren basement; and a 68-year-old man died after pushing his car through flood waters in Oak Park.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said that, despite the heavy rains, the Detroit Water Department’s operational systems suffered no major failures; only some overwhelmed sewer systems. Detroit residents are being asked to clear their catch basins to alleviate flooding. If that doesn’t work, they’re asked to call the Detroit Water Department.
The National Weather Service said 4.57 inches of rain fell at Detroit Metro Airport, breaking the previous record of 2.06 inches set back in 1964. It’s the second-highest one-day rainfall on record for Detroit, behind 4.74 inches that fell on July 31, 1925.
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