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FEMA crews evaluating flooding damage across Jefferson County

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 9:18 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 11:14 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - You may have seen FEMA crews out across Jefferson County this week. They are assessing damage from October’s deadly flood.

Officials with the Jefferson County EMA said FEMA crews and state crews are going over hundreds of damage claims. This is just another step in the process of declaring a disaster and potentially getting FEMA federal dollars for cities and homeowners.

Crews were speaking with homeowners and looking at the pictures submitted by residents, along with other types of damage and evidence, like debris from flooding, sediment, and visible water lines.

“We looked at a lot of the places where some of the major damage occurred,” Emergency Management Officer Melissa Sizemore said. “Where homes had feet of water in their homes and that is what FEMA was interested in and what the state was interested in, in regard to seeing and validating, just to make sure that it actually happened.”

Sizemore said it is okay if someone did not knock on your door and you did have flooding. Crews only went to certain locations in person, but the EMA said every claim was evaluated by both the state and FEMA.

Sizemore there is still a long process ahead before Alabama will see any money.

Next, state crews will compile all claims from every county and fill out an application for a disaster declaration. That application goes to the Governor for her signature. After that, it goes to FEMA officials for our region.

Sizemore said they will evaluate the application and if it qualifies, it goes off to FEMA headquarters for a final recommendation. The last step is a signature from the President.

But, Sizemore said it is unclear on how long this will all take.

“It could be weeks,” she said. “It could be months. We are all just eagerly waiting for that application to cross the Governor’s desk and then move forward up to FEMA and FEMA headquarters for them to analyze the data we have provided to the state.”

The City of Hoover did their own drainage study before the October 6th flood for the Green Valley and Bluff Park communities. They will have a meeting on the findings at City Hall on November 18th, at 6:00 p.m. They said the findings will help determine what public and private drainage may need improvements.

The city could qualify for FEMA dollars from the October 6th flooding if awarded by the federal government.

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