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Federal Money Promised, With Flood Damage Numbers Still Pouring In

DETROIT (WWJ) - Federal money will be coming to Michigan to help pay for road repairs that resulted from last week's massive flooding.

The Department of Transportation is giving $750,000 to the Michigan Department of Transportation to help in recovery and roadway repairs. Not only were five freeways closed, but several surface streets were damaged, as well.

Last week's storms dumped over six inches of rain in some places and left five major freeways under several feet of water, forcing thousands of people to abandon their water-logged cars.

As the damage assessment continues across metro Detroit, more numbers are flowing in.

Announced Wednesday, Wayne County estimates flood damage at $340 million.  Preliminary information shows that more than 94,000 people and 35,000 homes were affected by the flooding there, and $12 million in damage was reported at publicly owned buildings.

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director for Wayne County, Tim McGillvary who says they have submitted their preliminary damage assessment report to the state to hopefully help secure federal funding.

"We tried to coordinate with the locals to gather all the information, and we really put some extremely difficult timelines on the municipalities — in terms of getting us this information," McGillvary said. "And we've had people working around the clock with the assessors office and the municipal leaders to get that information."

McGillvary said some of the hardest-hit Wayne County communities include the city of Detroit, the Downriver area, Southgate, Ecorse, Inkster, Hamtramck, Dearborn, and Dearborn Heights.

Dorthy Petri — who lives on Hanover Street, near Telegraph and I-94 in Dearborn Heights —  lost several pieces of furniture, a refrigerator, and irreplaceable keepsakes when the Ecorse River behind her home crested, bringing with it more than eight feet of water that flooded her family's basement.

"My house is totaled," she told WWJ Newsradio 950's Jon Hewett. "Upstairs I had three foot of water, and down in the basement it was to the ceiling."  Petri's car was also damaged.

All the water's gone now, but the cleanup is ongoing this week.

"I'm so sick to my stomach, I feel like I'm gonna throw up all the time," Petri said "All of my belongings I've collected for them take it, throw it in the garbage. It was just really hard."

Next door, Chris Manuel said several appliances, along with her furnace and hot water heater, were ruined.

"It's hard to explain to somebody who hasn't been through it what it's like,"  Manuel said.

Wayne County is assisting residents with information and help at a resource center that will be set up at the Brainard Senior Center in Southgate from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21.  No appointments are necessary.

Last week, Oakland County put their damage estimate at $337 million.

Gov. Rick Snyder is urging people who've suffered property damages due to the flooding to report their losses as soon as possible. He encouraged residents to document their losses with photographs and receipts and then file the materials with their local governments.

"Reporting damage is a vital step in applying for federal aid to get Michigan residents back on their feet after last week's devastation," Snyder said in a statement. Get more information at this link.

[Complete flood coverage here].


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