August 27, 2014

Rep. Townsend: Resources Available for Flood Cleanup

Dear Neighbors,

Like many of you, I was shocked to see the level of devastation our communities were hit with following the historic storm of Aug. 11. Now, two weeks later, Royal Oak and Madison Heights are still in the process of recovery. The state has declared an emergency in the metro Detroit region, but many residents are still wondering what they can personally do.

Due to the scope and severity of the flooding throughout the district and southeast Michigan, I am sending this newsletter specifically focused on the emergency and its aftermath and cleanup, as I know right now it is of the utmost concern to nearly every resident in the district. If you are able to forward this to others in your neighborhood that may find the information helpful, please do. Thank you!

This e-newsletter includes the following flood-related information:

  • What is currently being done to clean up the mess and assist residents.
  • Helpful resources to citizens in need of assistance.

Current Cleanup and Recovery Efforts Underway

Both Royal Oak and Madison Heights have been coordinating their efforts through the Oakland County Division of Homeland Security since the onset of the flood. Attention was initially focused in a prioritized manner, handling all life-threatening situations first, then anything that would threaten the overall general public safety of the community, and then assisting those in the community who are unable to help themselves (i.e., the elderly and disabled, etc.).

Once public safety was secured and those with special needs were specifically handled, the city then turned its attention to general cleanup efforts, trash removal services and the assessment of damage. This is the stage that we are still in, as city officials will need to file damage claim forms and requests for assistance at many levels of state and federal government in order to secure relief.

While there is no guarantee that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide assistance dollars, the governor has requested that FEMA complete a damage assessment. There are two phases of the damage assessment: Individual Assistance (IA) and Public Assistance (PA). The assessment for Individual Assistance is scheduled to start Aug. 26 and be completed by Aug. 29. IA is for privately owned residences that have exhibited a significant amount of damage across the state and region. The assessment for Public Assistance is scheduled to start Sept. 3 and be completed by Sept. 5. PA is for publicly owned property and programs that have exhibited a significant amount of damage across the state and region. Once completed, FEMA will determine the level of response appropriate. Note that this is a tentative schedule and that it may be altered as each assessment is conducted.

Individual homeowners seeking financial assistance should first check with their homeowner’s insurance company for coverage information. If homes were damaged by sewer overflow, homeowners may file a damage claim with the city where they live. You can find the necessary forms on each community’s websites, along with more specific helpful information as to eligibility and resources.

Please find the links to each community here:

Each city’s website contains several actionable items that you and your neighbors can take to help in this process and that will potentially provide some relief to individual homeowners. I would recommend that you bookmark the pages and continue to check back frequently as any additional updates will be posted there. You can find their links below:

My office is now receiving many calls and emails from residents who have questions and concerns about what they and we can do to help each other during this recovery. We are handling each question and concern on a case-by-case basis, referring residents to whichever local or state agency that can best help. Concerns are centering around three primary areas: 1) trash collection and cleanup, 2) price gouging from unethical restoration companies, and 3) scavenging/looting of debris. Please use the resources below, along with advice and instructions provided on your city’s website, to help address your questions. If you have remaining or additional questions, please do not hesitate to call or email me and I will help get you in touch with the appropriate person or agency.

Residents who need assistance with their cleanup efforts can fill out the Southeast Michigan Recovery Coordination Center Flood Cleanup Intake Form. This service is designed for individuals who are unable to handle the task themselves. If you are interested in volunteering please contact my office at (866) 585-2471 or to email me at

Resources and Assistance

Here are some helpful pieces of information that you might find relevant toward your cleanup.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) has developed as a way to easily view information for flood victims and area residents. Information about the flood, cleanup assistance, how to report damage, and up-to-date information about the steps the state is taking is available online.

Information Line

Flood victims in Oakland County can call (248) 858-1843 for 24/7 local flood recovery information.

State SER Relief

Residents may be eligible for emergency assistance from Michigan’s Department of Human Services (DHS) State Emergency Relief (SER) program.

Red Cross Clean Up Kits

For homes that were flooded, residents can get a clean-up kit from the American Red Cross, SE Michigan Region. Call (800) 774-6066 for more information.

Post-Flood Safety and Protection

For information to help you protect your home and family after a flood, click here to visit the Oakland County website.

Nurse On Call Service

Oakland County’s Nurse on Call telephone service is available to answer questions about health issues and make health referrals. Call (800) 848-5533 to speak to a Public Health Nurse in the Oakland County Health Division.

Residents who need assistance with their cleanup efforts can fill out the Southeast Michigan Recovery Coordination Center Flood Cleanup Intake Form. This service is designed for individuals who are unable to handle the task themselves. If you are interested in volunteering please contact my office at (866) 585-2471 or to email me at


2-1-1 provides free and confidential information and referral for numerous assistance programs in your local area. Call 2-1-1 for help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling, and more.

I know that this is a lot of information in one email, but I wanted to be sure that you feel empowered and reassured that everyone — at all levels of government — is actively and collectively working together to ensure that the cleanup efforts move ahead, so that the recovery and healing can continue. I am so very proud of everyone’s resilience and sense of community to each other as we have most certainly seen the best side of humanity during this crisis. I hope you find some useful pieces of information to get you and our neighbors through this devastating event. If I can be of specific assistance now, or in the future, please do not hesitate to call my office at (866) 585-2471, or to email me at


Jim Townsend

State Representative

How can I help?

Please let me know how I can be of assistance to you so that together, we can continue to make progress in our community.

Office Address
N790 House Office Building

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Phone: (517) 373-3818
Fax: (517) 373-5888

(866) 585-2471


View District Map
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I’m State Representative Jim Townsend, and I serve Michigan’s 26th House District.

Thanks for stopping by. It’s truly an honor to be your State Representative as I work to attract new businesses to Michigan, create jobs and turn our economy around. I’m here to serve you and I encourage you to contact me about any issues or concerns you may have. Whether you are facing foreclosure, need information on unemployment benefits, are looking to start a small business, or need help with something else, let me know how I can be of assistance.


Jim Townsend

State Representative Jim Townsend

26th House District

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