Help for flood victims

August 5, 2009 4:01:07 PM PDT
Montgomery County is now offering help, financial and otherwise, for those who were hurt by Sunday's flooding.The Montgomery County Department of Public Safety set up the center today at its Safety Training Campus at 1175 Conshohocken Road.

It is offering numerous programs to assist individuals and small businesses that suffered losses during Sunday's severe storms.

While helping with insurance claims is the primary mission of the center, there are other programs available to offer support to homeowners.

"This morning we did have a gentleman who had cancer. He was elderly, his wife was immobile, and he needed someone to come out to clean his basement," disaster volunteer supervisor Tonia Venton said.

George Clark and his son-in-law were at the Center today.

His home in the 4200 block of Fairway Road in Whitemarsh Township was one of nine houses hit hard by Sunday's storms. He figures his home sustained at least $20,000 in damages.

"I've been going through this for over 10 years," Clark said.

The complaints are both large and small.

The Montgomery County Health Department is offering free well water testing.

"It's a little kit with a water bottle you fill up from the tap and send it in and down to Norristown and we analyze for bacterial contamination," Walter Higgins of the Montgomery County Health Department said.

Bernie Homer was a victim of high rising water that put his horses in danger.

"We had water that was almost into the barn. The water was over my head, almost halfway up to the house, and it washed out a wall that we just erected," Homer of Springfield, Pa. said.

Morris Lewis had to leave his home during Sunday's storm and he is now staying at a Red Cross shelter set up at the Keith Valley Middle School in Horsham.

"The problem that forced me to leave was the fact that the water had come into the basement and into the crawl spaces and now there's a severe mold problem," Lewis of Upper Moreland, Pa. said.

The does needs to be at least 25 county residents with a minimum 40% uninsured property loss, before the center can provide monetary assistance.