Detroiters Seek Offline Options for Flood Help and Claim Forms



Harrieta O’Neal lives on Marlborough Street in Detroit. After paying to pump 4 feet of water from his basement due to weekend flooding, O’Neal struggles to get help.

O’Neal is 71 years old and does not own a computer. Many of her neighbors are older than her and don’t own computers either, she said.

“How are we going to get nominations,” she said.

While all of O’Neal’s personal effects have been removed, except for his washer, dryer, and ruined hot water tank, his basement still needs to be sanitized in order to remove the waste. foul odor remaining.

Residents of the east side of Detroit on Marlborough Street, like Harrietta O'Neal, 71, continue to clean up damage from the floods of June 29, 2021. Flooding hit the area hard after torrential rains hit the area. Last weekend.  O'Neal says she doesn't have a computer, so trying to get help was very difficult.

“I’m on the top floor so I managed to keep my door closed and have fans, but I can’t do this forever,” she said. “I don’t have hot water … I can’t carry gallons of water up the steps to bathe in. I have asthma and I say I’m an elderly person. I’m not old but I start up there. I’m 71, you know I’m retired so I’m on a fixed income and you know it’s tough. “

O’Neal expressed frustration with the city hotline, saying it was not functioning or busy, putting residents on hold for hours.

“They should have boots on the ground to reach us, find out what they can do to help us,” O’Neal said.

As the city continues to process complaints, some residents may be confused or frustrated as to where to go for help. Residents without access to a computer or the Internet can call 313-267-8000 to request a form, Bryan Peckinpaugh, deputy director of public affairs for the Detroit Water and Wastewater Department, said in an email to The Free Press.

Residents of the east side of Detroit on Marlborough Street like Harrietta O'Neal, 71, continue to clean up damage from the flooding of June 29, 2021.

“We want to get them into the work order system first in order to help them and we will send the form within 24 hours,” he said.

Peckinpaugh said the department is also working to provide the Neighborhoods Department with copies of the form to make them available to neighborhood associations and neighborhood clubs.

Under state law, residents who have suffered flood damage have 45 days to file a claim with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, or until August 10, 2021.

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In a press release Tuesday, the city encouraged homeowners and tenants to document the losses with photos of the flood damage and receipts related to basement cleaning and related repairs. He also encouraged insured homeowners to file a claim with their insurance company.

Marsha Stewart, 73, visits the basement of her home on June 29, 2021, on Marlborough Street in Detroit, which was damaged by flooding.  Stewart, who has lived in the house since 1986, says she hasn't seen anything like it.

Residents with questions about insurance and insurance issues can contact the Department of Insurance and Financial Services between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-899-6442.

Even though residents lost important documents such as their birth certificates during the flooding, they will still be able to fill out city forms, Peckinpaugh said.

The city is also recruiting volunteers to help the elderly and people with disabilities clean up debris from their basements. Seniors and people with disabilities should note their status when speaking with representatives, according to a city of Detroit press release.

Residents of the east side of Detroit on Marlborough Street like Harrietta O'Neal, 71, continue to clean up damage from the flooding of June 29, 2021.

In Dearborn, the Henry Ford Centennial Library and the Esper Branch Library will have computers available to residents to complete their forms online. The Henry Ford Centennial Library will be open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 1. The Esper branch library will be open from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on July 1. According to the city of Dearborn, overtime will be available on Tuesday, July 6.

Residents of Dearborn who cannot complete the online form can also contact 313-586-3181 for assistance.

Residents of the Town of Grosse Pointe can dial 313-855-5800 to provide their address and phone number. Grosse Pointe will provide residents with additional information, including claim forms.

Residents of Grosse Pointe Park who do not have Internet can pick up and drop off paper forms at Town Hall. The Lavins Center is also available for residents who need to use the showers.

Marsha Stewart, 73, visits the basement of her home on June 29, 2021, on Marlborough Street in Detroit, which was damaged by flooding.  Stewart, who has lived in the house since 1986, says she hasn't seen anything like it.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services provides assistance to low-income residents in need of repairs to correct unsafe conditions and restore essential services. Applicants must be the owner or purchaser of the home being repaired and will need to meet the eligibility criteria, including the income limit, to be eligible.

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According to the MDHHS, help from the state’s emergency assistance program is available for repairs not covered by homeowner’s insurance, including the basic structure of the house, water heater, pits. septic systems / waste disposal, doors / windows, extermination services, electricity, plumbing, roofs and wells. Residents without the Internet can call the MDHHS at 517-241-3740 to locate their local office, which can help them with the request.

Residents of the east side of Detroit on Marlborough Street, like Harrietta O'Neal, 71, continue to clean up damage from the floods of June 29, 2021. Flooding hit the area hard after torrential rains hit the area. Last weekend.  O'Neal says she doesn't have a computer, so trying to get help was very difficult.

In addition to online orders, the MDHHS division for Vital Records and Health Statistics allows Michigan residents to order records by mail. For questions on how to order copies of birth, death, marriage and divorce records, call 517-335-8666.

Residents in need of shelter or emergency assistance due to flooding can contact the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Michigan residents affected by the flooding can also contact the United Way for Southeast Michigan at 2-1-1 and a representative will help direct them to resources in their area.

Contact Kyle Davidson, News Intern, at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jrndavidson.



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