Clay, Moorhead residents urged to register with FEMAPeople in Clay County and Moorhead looking for federal flood assistance must register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to have a chance at getting help, officials stressed Tuesday.
By: Dave Olson, INFORUM
People in Clay County and Moorhead looking for federal flood assistance must register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to have a chance at getting help, officials stressed Tuesday.
Even those who have reported damage to their local officials should register with FEMA, said Vince Clark, a spokesman for the agency. Many who register with FEMA will automatically be invited to apply for assistance from the Small Business Administration.
Whether someone owns a business or a home, they shouldn’t ignore the offer, Clark said.
“That may be your best bet for a low-interest loan,” he said.
Let seeping walls dry
Homeowners who suffered basement flooding may be anxious to start remodeling, but they should take care, said Bruce Jaster, director of Clay County Environmental Health.
“Leave surfaces to dry fully,” he said. Moisture meters will soon be available at the county extension office that can be used to tell whether a surface is dry enough to be painted over or covered.
Clay County is repairing about 50 roads damaged by the flood, including about 25 that remain closed.
In the past, the county used its own crews or a single contractor to repair flooded roads.
The work often extended into the summer.
This time, the county has hired five contractors to work in five areas. The repair work is expected to be completed by mid-May, said County Engineer David Overbo.
The presence of dikes is slowing traffic on Interstate 94, which is causing vehicle tie-ups in south Moorhead, said Lt. Tory Jacobson of the Moorhead Police Department.
Police officers and troopers from the Minnesota State Patrol are working to make sure traffic keeps moving, but Jacobson advised drivers to take alternate routes and to allow adequate time to reach destinations.
“The reality is, there are going to be delays,” he said.
Clay homes damaged
About 82 Clay County households outside of Moorhead have reported flood damage ranging from minor to major, said Clay County Planner Tim Magnusson. The homes are scattered, but about half are south of Moorhead, he said.
Some homeowners have expressed interest in buyouts, but Magnusson said it appears few suffered enough damage to be candidates for FEMA buyouts.
The list of damaged homes is still being compiled and the county will start doing inspections soon, Magnusson said.
Plugs and laundry
Because the second Red River crest is now expected to be less than 38 feet, it is not anticipated Moorhead residents will need to plug basement drains or restrict water use in coming days, officials said Tuesday.
If conditions warrant a change in that message, the city will use the media and its reverse 911 system, Code Red, to get the word out.
Officials said garbage collection in Moorhead will continue and the city’s golf courses likely will be open by the weekend.
If you plan to apply for any federal assistance, call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at (800) 621-3362 to register. That goes for people who have already reported damage to local officials.
To reach the Clay County Emergency Operations Center with flood questions, call (218) 299-7768 or 299-7769. For emergencies, you should still dial 911.
To contact the Moorhead Emergency Operations Center with flood questions, call (218) 299-5255, 299-5256 and 299-5257. To report leaks in Moorhead dikes at any hour, call (218) 299-5386.
Flood disaster recovery centers will open at noon today in Moorhead and Breckenridge to assist people in Clay, Norman, Traverse and Wilkin counties in Minnesota.
One center will be at the Minnesota State Community and Technical College Higher Education Community Center at the corner of 14th Street and 12th Avenue South, in Moorhead.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until further notice.
A mobile disaster recovery center will be set up at the Wilkin County Community Room, 505 S. 8th St., in Breckenridge until Sunday, after which it will be moved to another location.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555