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State and Federal Help Sought for Local Flood Recovery
August 8, 2011

City of Charlotte Corporate Communications (704) 336-2396
Mecklenburg County Public Service & Information Department (704) 336-2475
Media contact for DART assessments: Jeff Griffin, County Code Enforcement  Cell: 704-634-8847  

Charlotte-Mecklenburg plans to apply for state and federal assistance to help residents affected by last Friday’s flash flooding.
Emergency Management Director Wayne Broome said today that a Presidential Disaster Declaration is not likely, but he believes the damage may be large enough for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer assistance. If that happens, qualifying residents could receive low-interest SBA loans to help with flood recovery.
Local government’s first step in applying for assistance is determining the extent of flood damage. City and County Disaster Assessment & Response Teams (DARTs) will begin visiting about 100 properties tomorrow. The information they gather from on-site inspections will be used to apply for disaster assistance. The data will be used for other purposes as well, including:

  • making sure that flooded structures are safe to inhabit
  • determining if properties had flood insurance
  • putting a dollar estimate on flood damage to buildings and their contents

A dollar estimate of damage to a building is often necessary to determine if a property should be condemned. Estimates are also required before a building in a regulated floodplain can be repaired. DARTs will be made up of inspectors from County Code Enforcement and City Code Enforcement. These inspectors are experts in local ordinances regarding building safety and housing codes.
On-site inspections in recent days by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services indicate fewer buildings flooded last Friday than when Tropical Storm Fay caused significant local flooding in 2008. However, preliminary reports show that the amount of damage caused to each flooded structure may be exceed that of three years ago.
Damage data gathered by the DARTs will be submitted to state and federal officials in about a week. Broome said he believes an SBA decision on whether to grant low-interest loans to Charlotte-area flood victims would likely come in late August.