Residents, businesses with flood damage may be eligible for assistance from FEMA

-A A +A
By Sandy Barnes

Evergreen area residents whose homes and businesses have suffered damage from flooding may be eligible for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

As directed by President Obama, Jefferson County has received disaster declaration from FEMA, which will provide financial assistance to the county, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

However, the extent of FEMA aid to Jeffco has not yet been determined, said sheriff's spokesman Mark Techmeyer. The damage to property in Jefferson County is far less severe than the disaster that occurred in Boulder County, he said. FEMA agents are currently helping people in Boulder, and will come to Jeffco at a later date.

When the amount of federal assistance Jeffco will receive is determined after the extent of damage is assessed, residents will be advised about their eligibility for financial assistance through FEMA, Techmeyer said.

The Jeffco Sheriff's Office is in the process of assessing damage. Anyone who needs to report property damage should call 303-271-4930.

Those who call will not receive immediate assistance, Techmeyer advised. By notifying the Sheriff's Office, county officials can develop a comprehensive list of properties affected by heavy rains and creek flooding.

"The calvary will not come running" when residents call, said Techmeyer.

According to preliminary estimates of structural damage in Jeffco by the Sheriff's Office, 14 residences have been destroyed and 215 damaged. Twenty-four commercial properties have been damaged. Also, 35 minor structures have been destroyed and 57 damaged, according to reports.

A preliminary assessment of the cost to repair Jefferson County infrastructure is estimated at $6 million.

County and local officials were scheduled to make door-to-door visits to residents on Tuesday to confirm property damage. These individuals will have official identification, the sheriff's office reported.

Residents whose homes and properties are in the FEMA-designated flood plain and have flood insurance can file claims with their insurance companies for damages. 

If a resident is not in a flood zone and has property damaged by surface water, he most likely will not be eligible for insurance coverage, said Evergreen State Farm agent Chuck Ridings.

"When people have water coming off the hill and into their basements, that's not covered," he explained.

For damage caused by sewage backups outside their individual connections, homeowners can purchase a rider on their insurance policies, which would cover up to $10,000 of the cost of cleanup and repairs, Ridings said.

Residents not eligible for flood insurance can protect their properties from flooding through landscaping designed to keep water from flowing toward it, he said. They also can store personal items on pallets in their basements, rather than placing them directly on the floor, and make sure that window wells in the basement are positioned above ground.


Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.