PEMA surveying flood damage in Dunbar

| Monday, July 8, 2013, 8:48 p.m.

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency officials are surveying flood damage that occurred July 1 when Dunbar Creek overflowed after four inches of rain fell during a one-hour period.

Tammy Nedrow, secretary for Dunbar Borough, told council on Monday that representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency are expected to visit the borough this week.

In an email, Jason Bartholomai of Fayette County Emergency Management Agency told Nedrow the first step for borough residents whose homes received flood damage is to apply for loans through FEMA.

“This is the step in getting any type of financial assistance,” Bartholomai said. “This is not grant money. It is more like a loan.”

To qualify for federal money, Bartholomai said, damage to homes must be at least 40 percent of the fair market value of the structure.

“Also, we will be looking at public assistance for roadways, culverts, ditches, stormwater drain pipes, etc.,” he said. “The paperwork and numbers are being compiled for individual assistance.”

For homeowners or business owners to qualify for assistance, Bartholomai said, there must be more than basement damage.

Homeowners need to report the damage and provide their name, address and phone number to the borough office for the record. Nedrow said she will contact them individually.

Jeremy Keefer of 227 Connellsville St. told council members that his basement sustained damage during the storm. He said his neighbor, Dick Ritcher, also reported damage to his basement.

“There is a drain that clogs up and backs up into our basements every time it floods,” Keefer said. “The water flows into a gully and floods the street.”

Councilman Rob Grover said council will review the problem and replace the pipe if necessary.

Flooding also occurred on Church and Railroad streets when Dunbar Creek overflowed, Nedrow said.

Council President Norm Gordon said it is very important for the creek channeling project that has been in the planning stages for several decades to be completed to prevent flooding.

“If you watched the news when we had the flood, you saw me harping on the creek channeling project,” Gordon said. “We really need that project to be completed.”

In other business, council voted to hire Tyler Hager as a temporary public works employee at a salary of $10 per hour for a 60-day probationary period.

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer to the Daily Courier.

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