Property owners affected by Aug. 11 flood can apply for federal assistance

DEARBORN – City officials are encouraging Dearborn property owners impacted by the Aug. 11 flood to apply for federal aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Federal assistance is available for both residential and business property owners who qualify under FEMA rules.

The city has no role in determining if individuals qualify for federal assistance.

Property owners must apply to FEMA for federal assistance and follow FEMA guidelines, even if they have already filed a claim with the city. The city cannot forward claims to FEMA.

People who need federal assistance can begin apply immediately for grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to recover from the effects of the flooding.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362. They also can do so by web-enabled mobile devices at m.fema.gov. 

Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service, call 800-621-3362.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. 

The federal assistance is possible because President Barack Obama on Thursday declared a major disaster for the state of Michigan as a result of the historic storm and flash flooding that occurred in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.

FEMA has specific rules to qualify for federal assistance.

Property owners must apply to FEMA for federal assistance and follow their guidelines, even if they have filed a claim with the city. The two processes are separate.

Under state law, the city can only pay claims under specific conditions. The most important condition is that there is proof that there was a defect in the city’s sewer system. Claims with the city had to be filed by the 5 p.m. Thursday deadline set by state law.

Along with the federal assistance for qualified individuals, Obama also approved public assistance to help cover some of the costs incurred by state and local governments during emergency response and due to damages to public facilities and infrastructure, such as schools and roads.