GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — Germantown might have hit a roadblock in the city’s efforts to rebuild after flooding in June.
Residents told WREG that they despite the massive damage, no one in Germantown will be eligible for help from FEMA. When we checked their website, FEMA confirmed that “No disasters declared for Individual Assistance were found for this address.”
“I think the single most frustrating part has been that there’s no financial aid for us or the flood victims,” flood victim Sreenath Shanker said. “They cannot expect any break from the government or the city for helping them out for their expenses.”
The final count is estimated at over 200 homes damaged and more than $7 million dollars in damages across the city of Germantown.
Some homes got it worse than others. Some residents that lost valuables and personal items, but others who have been forced to entirely gut their homes.
“Some people have gotten their walls up, this particular cove and the next cove over had 4-5 feet of water in the house, so pretty much everything was gutted,” Shanker said. “People are at various stages of repair work but haven’t been able to move back here.”
The city insists its drain system — which failed the night of the flooding — worked as well as anyone could have hoped, but that a bad mix of rainfall and clogged drains led to the disaster.
“It was just an extreme event,” Public Works Director Bo Mills said. “To get that much rainfall in that short a period of time … it was just not able to handle, just not able to accept that much rainfall in that short a period of time.”
While the cities of Germantown and Memphis have both pooled together money for flood relief, residents said that they’ve only chipped away a small percentage of a full relief effort. They’re continuing to check options at the local, state and federal level.
“Of course we’ve always had teams out before a big storm was heading this way, it’s just, you don’t get many thousand-year floods. Thank goodness,” Germantown Alderman Rocky Janda said.
Janda is still optimistic that affected flood victims in Germantown will eventually get access to FEMA relief.
“Our fire chief is heading [a FEMA campaign] up. There are several steps you have to take before you qualify for FEMA funds. Funds will be available if we are successful.”