I would first like to offer my deepest appreciation and thanks to everyone who volunteered their time, resources and energy to help the City respond to the recent flooding in Fort Wayne. Thousands of volunteers worked to save homes and businesses in our City and, thankfully, we had no deaths or serious injuries due to the flooding.

Due to the unique nature of this rainfall, the St. Marys River was affected in ways we have never before seen. I have visited much of the Waynedale area, which was especially hard hit by flooding. My thoughts and prayers go out to every resident and business affected by the flooding.

President Bush has declared Allen County a federal disaster area, which makes homeowners eligible for low-interest loans to aid in the clean up. Residents can apply for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Many types of flood related damage will be covered. For example, a resident may be eligible for assistance even if only the basement of the home was damaged by floodwaters. FEMA funds may also be used to replace furnaces or make other essential repairs necessary to make homes safe, secure and sanitary.

Within 60 days of the flood event, residents should call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register for services. A FEMA field worker will then visit your home to assess the damages. Within seven to ten days of the assessment, you will receive an assistance check. Residents should keep receipts for all expenses for which they will seek FEMA assistance.

Over the next few weeks I will be meeting with residents in flood-stricken areas. Myself and other City officials will provide you with detailed information on flood clean up and assistance available through FEMA. While the waters have receded, I understand that many of you have a long road ahead. The City of Fort Wayne is here to help you in any way it can, as is the federal government through FEMA. I again offer my deepest thanks and appreciation to those who came to the aid of families, friends and even strangers in their time of need. Without those efforts, Fort Wayne’s flood damage would be much more severe.

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