Damage assessment teams out in Dearborn neighborhoods

DEARBORN – Damage assessment crews from the city will be out in neighborhoods beginning today documenting the impact of Monday’s historic rainfall and the basement flooding that followed.

Detailing and making records of damage to properties is an essential part of the process supporting the emergency’s declaration issued by Mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr. on Wednesday, city officials said. The emergency declaration and documentation of damage are steps toward potentially securing federal aid for the city and for residents. No federal aid has been allocated yet.

Damage assessment crews will have city identification or other credentials.

The crews are made up of employees of the city, fire cadets, Police Explorers and volunteers from the Citizens Emergency Response Team. They will be photograph the piles of material set on the curbs for trash pickup as part of the documentation.

They also will ask residents for permission to enter houses to photograph damage in basements. This is voluntary. Residents may choose to allow the teams to enter their houses or decline.

The more documentation of damage across the city, the stronger the city’s case will be when the Federal Emergency Management Agency considers what, if any resources, it will make available to Dearborn and its residents, city officials said.

The damage assessment will continue through at least Friday.

The storm Monday dropped 6 inches of rain in two hours and resulted in basement flooding or sewer backups in an estimated 40 percent of the homes and businesses in Dearborn.

Residents should contact the Dearborn Sewerage Division at 943-2042 so that the city can compile and analyze the data about where flooding occurred.

In addition, residents wanting information about how to clean up a flooded basement should go to www.cityofdearborn.org and look for Information on basement flooding.

Also on the website are instructions on how to file a claim with the city for property damaged by flooding. Specific conditions apply for potential payments, and those are outlined at the website.

Residents may also visit the Legal Department at City Hall, 13615 Michigan Ave., to pick up a claim form from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

City employees are not distributing claim forms door-to-door, nor is it necessary to have an attorney file the claim form on residents’ behalf. Residents can file the claim form directly with the city.

Those affected by flooding are encouraged to take photographs of damaged items and to save all receipts for services and materials related to basement cleanups.

The city continues to devote additional resources to the curbside collection of flood damaged items throughout Dearborn. Residents affected by water and sewage damage can put their trash on the curb regardless of their usual collection day.

There is no fee for the bulk pickup of flood damaged items.