FEMA Goes Door-to-Door to Help Flood Victims

FINDLAY -- It's now been a little more than a week since the flood waters receded in Findlay.  Now workers with the Federal Emergency Management Agency are going door-to-door to get in touch with flood victims, and get them the help they need.

A slow-moving rain storm dumped as much as 10 inches of rain on Findlay and other areas south of Toledo about two weeks ago.  That caused the Blanchard River to overflow its banks, leaving much of downtown Findlay under water.  That flood then rolled downstream to Ottawa, flooding houses and the downtown area there.

Members of FEMA's Community Relations Team have been in the field in Findlay since Tuesday.  Their role is part information guide, part counselor.  "[We] stress to them the importance of contacting FEMA if they've received damage and kind of walk them through the process of filing," said Douglas Parker of FEMA.  "We hopefully also give them as much empathy as we can.  Some people wish just to talk."

Gary Deerwester is busy reparing the damage from the floods.  He's hoping for more than just some talk.  He's applied for federal aid.  "They've been here, the application's in and they've done the inspection," said Deerwester.  "It's just a matter of waiting on them to approve everything  and see what kind of funds are going to be made available."

For Brian McFearin, he's helping his parents clean up the mess and determine whether or not it's going to be worth it to repair the damage.  "It was quite a shock and it was very traumatic for the folks, to lose all the floors, and the walls, and the flood coverings and a lot of their personal possessions," said McFearin.

The FEMA ground team expects to be in the Findlay area for a few more weeks, to make sure flood victims are starting the application process.  Within 72 hours of the president's federal disaster declaration, FEMA received more than 4,000 applications in Ohio, and over $1.3 million dollars in assistance has already been approved.

Those figures are sure to rise.

Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.

Posted by AEB