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FEMA tours flood damage, but aid is uncertain

Aerial shot of flooding in metro Detroit on August 12, 2014.
Michigan State Police

Nearly a month after a massive rainstorm flooded homes and streets in Southeast 

Michigan, FEMA is wrapping up damage assessments that could help victims get federal aid.

Officials have toured damage in three counties to assess the hits to both private homes and public property, like schools and fire trucks.

Their report will eventually land on Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk, who will decide whether to apply for presidential aid. 

Even then, actually getting that aid can be a long shot.

Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw has been touring with the FEMA workers.

"Right now, we're not guaranteeing any funds to anyone,” Shaw says.  

“So that's one thing we've gotta kinda make clear, that just because FEMA's in town doesn't mean they've brought their checkbooks with them.

“A lot of folks think that, ‘my basement flooded, and FEMA came and now I get money.’ The process doesn't work like that.”

Shaw also says victims still struggling with storm damage, and anyone who’d like to volunteer to help, should call 2-1-1.

That line will connect them with nonprofits and volunteers. 

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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