Homeowners who experienced basement backups after the heavy rains of June 2008 may be eligible to receive money to prevent such problems from occurring in the future.
City Engineer Bill Wehrley sent a letter this week to residents who reported flooding in their homes. But he suspects there are more homeowners who had basement backups and resulting damage to their homes and belongings.
"I think a lot of people just never bothered to report it," he said.
Now is the time to do so, he added. The federal government has awarded $6 million for Wisconsin residents who had surface flooding and basement backups due to the rainfall.
Homeowners can apply for a share of these funds to help with repair costs and to install preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of repeat flooding. For instance, installing a sump pump - or a second sump pump if the first one had a hard time keeping up during the heavy rainfall - may not only protect the individual homeowner, but also reduce the overall amount of water getting into the city's sanitary sewer system.
Homeowners might also be eligible to install battery backup pumps to ensure pumping continues during power outages. In addition, if a yard flooded and water came through the windows, the homeowner may want to apply for glass block windows to replace standard windows. Furnaces and appliances that were damaged could be repaired or replaced under this program.
Residents who experienced basement backups should not put off applying. All money has to be doled out by Sept. 30, so it's important to take action now, Wehrley said.
Residents should call (877) 947-2211 or go to 2008floodrecovery.org to set up a meeting with a case manager who will determine a homeowner's eligibility and help with the application process.
It can take several months for an application to be approved. If it meets the criteria, the money will go to a vendor or contractor who will be hired through the grant program to do the work. The entire process needs to be completed before the end of September.
|People per household||Maximum income to be eligible for flood recovery grant funds|
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