McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Flood victims not eligible for aid

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  • Despite local officials early beliefs, little or no public monetary aid may be available for Lindsborg flooding victims.
    A downpour of 5 inches in about an hour resulted in flood waters as high as five feet to inundate streets in northern Lindsborg Monday.
    As residents continued clean up efforts Wednesday, county officials were trying to secure a disaster declaration for the area, but even a federal disaster declaration may not bring aid for losses of personal property or possessions, Dillard Webster, McPherson Emergency Management director, said.
    “Floods are one of the saddest things I do,” Webster said. “I can’t help people.”
    Most of the families who lived in the flooded area were not in the flood plain and did not have flood insurance. Standard homeowners insurance generally will not cover flash flooding.
    “Some families are going to get no replacement,” Webster said. “There are people with $50,000 mortgages who had seven feet of water in their basements. They are going to just be out. That mortgage is gone.”
    Concerns now are turning to health issues, including how to deal with mold.
    City officials were urging residents to be careful when choosing a business to assist with cleanup.
    If contractors or clean-up crews, contact you to solicit your business, make sure they have registered their businesses with the city, the city’s website said.
    The city of Lindsborg has planned a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. today at the Smoky Valley Middle School auditorium. In addition, the city will be updating its website at 3:30 p.m. daily with information on the recovery.
    The city has named a volunteer coordinator at city hall. Call 785-227-3355 for more information.
    The amount of damage estimated due to flooding in Lindsborg has now exceeded $3.8 million with the number of affected homes at 125.
    In order for a disaster to be declared in McPherson County, $100,000 in damages and costs must be reported by government agencies and utilities. For a state disaster declaration, $3 million in damages must be reported.
    A disaster declaration would allow local governments to recoup some of the costs associated with damage and emergency response due to the flooding.
    The millions in damages to homes can’t be counted toward either a county or state disaster declaration.
    Webster will meet with the McPherson County Commission at 1 p.m. today. He hopes to have the disaster declaration request signed at that time. The document will then be sent to the state.
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