Detroit opens 2 flooding centers to help residents

Darren A. Nichols
The Detroit News

Detroit — Dozens of city residents came out to two flooding centers Tuesday in an effort to get assistance after last week’s powerful rainstorm.

Tuesday was the first day the city offered help at two centers, Adams/Butzel Recreation Center on the city’s west side and Farwell Recreation Center on the east side. The two centers will stay open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Friday.

Aubrey Stanfield, 39, who lives in the Marygrove community on McNichols near Fenkell, said about three inches of water in his basement damaged his washing machine, dryer and hot water heater. He also lost a lot of clothes, and the water is “still in there,” he said.

“They said the washer and dryer (assistance) is not available right now,” Stanfield said. “All they can give me is a referral for the food and clothing. Every little bit helps. The important thing is (the appliances). Assistance is always good, especially when you really need it.”

Residents were able to get information on financial assistance, social services, restoration contractors, construction permits and health information.

“I wanted to get as much information as I could,” said Barbara Woodard, 66, who lives on Philadelphia near Dexter on the city’s west side. “It’s wonderful. I’m really happy to know there’s programs that are willing to help us.”

On Monday, Mayor Mike Duggan said the city is running additional days of bulk trash pickup as it seeks to recover from the flooding. He urged city residents to fill out applications to try to recoup damage losses, but said he’s not sure if people will receive it.

Duggan said it’s likely people may get money if the flooding came over the grass and into a home. He’s not sure about sewage that reached basements.

“We were fortunate that we were not hit nearly as hard as our neighbors to the north, but in some of our neighborhoods the damage was bad,” Duggan said. “I know we’ve had our teams out repeatedly removing the material that’s been left out in front and damaged.”

Agencies on hand included the Michigan Health and Human Services Department, which provided applications for possible financial assistance and social services; the city’s Buildings, Safety Engineering & Environmental Department, which gave tips on contractors and permits; and the city’s Health & Wellness Promotion Department.

Representatives from the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army were also in attendance.

Pamela Baxter, 56, who lives on the city’s northwest side, said she came out hoping to get her appliances replaced. The flooding caused damage to her water heater and furnace, while some of her grandchildren’s belongings also were damaged.

Baxter is also hoping to get help with fixing the potential mold in her basement.

“Whatever they have to offer, I want it,” Baxter said. “By the city not having floods, usually, they should take care of these folks who need assistance. It’s not an everyday thing.”

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