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FEMA to help county with disaster assistance

By Kevin Elliott


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced disaster assistance may be available to Oakland County residents for losses from the June 25-26 storms and flooding in southeast Michigan.


Those seeking assistance can’t duplicate funding from other sources, but assistance may be available for uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses. Those seeking assistance must register with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov or calling the FEMA helpline at 800.621.3362.


The city of Birmingham announced in August that residents could make claims for flooding from storms on July 24. The FEMA assistance is for flooding from storms on June 25 and 26. City officials said about 350 residents experienced flooding damage from the July storms, but only about 10 residents filed claims related to the earlier June storms.


Those applying for assistance should have a current phone number and address; social security number; a list of damages and loses; and private insurance information.


Birmingham consulting city engineer James Surhigh said the majority of flooding occurred from sewer drains backing up into basements, while some residents had water seeping through windows and cracks in walls or foundation.


Surhigh said about 1.7 inches of rain fell in a half-hour during the July 24 storm, creating havoc on the system that was already heavily saturated with groundwater.


Residents applying for assistance through FEMA will receive an application letter about FEMA’s decision and actions that may need to be taken. Appeals may be considered by FEMA. Those who don’t qualify for assistance may be referred to the US Small Business Administration for a small business disaster loan. More information is available at sba.gov/disaster.

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