Originally Posted Online: July 15, 2014, 11:43 am
Last Updated: July 15, 2014, 8:22 pm
Many Watertown flood victims seeking aid
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By Anthony Watt, firstname.lastname@example.org
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In this July 1 photo, Gumaro Sanchez, of East Moline, checks the sump-pump at the base of his basement steps to make sure it is still running. A 5.11-inch rainfall on June 30 caused more than 2 feet of water to flood the basement of Mr. Sanchez's home at 1322 Morton Drive in the Watertown neighborhood of East Moline.
EAST MOLINE -- About half of the people believed affected by the June flood in Watertown have taken the city up on its offer of a recovery package.
A strong storm dumped significant rain on the area on June 30, and the city pumps along the Sugar Creek levee failed, allowing the water to pour into Watertown. Authorities believe 40 to 50 properties were affected.
The city offered a number of aid options for the victims of the flood, including money from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be used for reimbursements for inspections costs, or the repair or replacement of water heaters and furnaces damaged by flood water.
As of Monday, there had been between 17 and 20 requests for the the HUD money options, city administrator Cole O'Donnell said. None of the 40 to 50 potential applicants have attempted so far to use the other options: a couple of loan programs and the Lead Paint Mitigation Grant
East Moline has about $161,000 in HUD funds available.
Qualifying residents can get up to a $100 reimbursement for water heater, furnace and electrical system inspections, according to a city news release. Up to $2,500 of the HUD money is available per resident to repair or replace water heaters and furnaces. Building permits will be required, but the fees will be waived.
There are eligibility requirements for most of the aid. It is based on income, residency or other criteria. Some options require applications or that the work be done by contractors registered through the city.
Packets with full criteria, applications and other details are available from the city by contacting Mr. O'Donnell, at 309-752-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org. His office is at the East Moline City Hall Annex at 912 16th Ave.
East Moline is also planning to help recovery efforts by reviewing water and sewer bills. Any increase attributable to flood cleanup will be forgiven.
The city is collecting garbage, debris and flood-damaged property in the afflicted areas, according to city staff. Residents must put most items outside for removal. Unacceptable items include appliances, electronics and toxic materials. For more details, call 309-752-1573.
Mr. O'Donnell said Tuesday that he believed all of the affected properties had had electricity restored, but that some may still not have gas.