FEMA: “No Help” For Flood Victims In Iowa

They've been turned down to receive individual aid from the federal government. Owners are angry about the decision and wonder where they will go from here. Most people that were living in this neighbor near 35th Street and Avenue “G” in Council Bluffs have moved out, simply because most of these houses are rentals.

You can see the damage the water is doing to yards and driveways and just this week, the city has started posting "weed" violation notifications, simply because people can't mow their yards because of how bad the water is saturating the ground. For the few homeowners in the area, who've stayed -- the battle to keep flood waters out of their home, just got tougher.

This is what Debbie Main's basement has looked like for the past three months -- standing water, exposed wood and ceiling. Sump pumps suck water out around the clock.

"They cut out all the dry wall because we had black mold, there's water coming out of the floors, in the sewer it just wreaks awful."

It's all part of Main’s own flood fighting battle, with a tab running near $50,000. Eventually she thought some help would be on the way. "It would be really nice since this is kind of a man made thing, so the man that made it or the men that made it or the people that made it, should step in and help all of the flood victims that are losing everything."

If you can use some imagination -- picture this basement completely finished -- including a kitchen that would be here, a bathroom here and her home office here. "You got to eat else where, you gotta stay else where you can't, I can't maintain my business in my home now because I don't have a home to maintain it in."

Not only is she facing the possibility of losing her home, it's also her trucking business too. It's a fight she says, she simply cannot lose but she won't be alone, at least locally, in her fight.

Pottawattamie County Public Information Officer Matt Wilber says, "I guarantee you we will be in contact with both the Governor’s Office and as well with our federal congressional delegation."

Wilber says it feels like residents are actually being punished for doing such a good job in managing the damage, "And now federal government comes along and says, that their damage doesn't count."

That's exact thing Debbie Main didn't want to hear this far into the flood. "Step up and take care of the wrongs that you've done and help these people out."

Iowa Governor Branstad has filed an appeal to FEMA, asking them re-examine the flood damage. Saying: "Based on the simple facts that the flood is still occurring and as the waters slowly recede, new damages will be revealed."

Harrison County Emergency Management said Friday that it has to do with being able to get to the damage. Too many homes and properties are underwater to get a realistic damage assessment, which is what is needed for the counties to receive the aid they need.

The program helps homeowners, renters and businesses, providing
grants and loans to help them recover.

Massive amounts of water have been released from upriver dams to
deal with heavy spring rains and above-average mountain snow melt.

The releases caused record flooding in Nebraska and Iowa.


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