|By Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Homeowners recited losses like those to teams of inspectors last week as metro
"We had just finished renovating down there. We had a full bathroom, all-new laundry room, my daughter's bedroom, a living area with a flat screen and a gym with treadmill and weights and all that," she said. "Everything got destroyed."
And like everyone else on their block near 11 Mile and
"People really need help -- it's our turn," said
Yet, as about 20
"Early on in this event, there were some elected officials that made statements that could easily be interpreted to mean that there's money coming your way for this," Quisenberry said.
Those assessing southeast
"There's still the possibility that we're not going to get there" to the governor's approval or a presidential declaration, said Quisenberry, who has been working 12- to 14-hour days since the flood.
"Certainly, we've had people hit very hard (and) it's never a good thing to compare losses -- who's hurting the most?
"But we saw buildings totally collapse in
"When we go out into any area that's had a disaster, it sometimes causes expectations that the federal government may come in" with financial aid to individuals, Jasmund said.
The next step now is for the disaster inspectors, including state and county officials as well as those from
Snyder has urged metro Detroiters with damage to report it quickly to their city, village or township hall because "this information is essential for the state to be able to request relief from the federal government."
But little or even none of that relief might go to individual homeowners and renters. It might be limited to county road commissions, the
"We really need to startmanaging people's expectations," said Gillham, who had 2 feet of water in his basement and estimated his own losses at upward of
"My understanding is that for individuals to be compensated, they pretty much have to be driven from their homes," he said.
"Even if the federal government makes a disaster declaration, which is no guarantee, many families will still not benefit in any way from this action," Meisner said.
But a temporary adjustment to the income-tax rules, providing an easier rule to qualify for deducting casualty losses, would provide vital financial relief, he said.
Current law limits the deduction for losses from disasters like this month's heavy rains to the amount of the loss minus 10% of a family's adjusted gross income -- a high bar to reach, he said.
"The great unanticipated costs of water removal, mold remediation, removal of carpets and walls, appliance replacement -- these costs are very difficult to bear for families that were not insured," Meisner said in a letter he sent last week to members of
But income tax relief, while welcome, wouldn't be the same as a check in the mail soon, said
Domino has lived in a borrowed recreation vehicle parked on her driveway since the storm flooded her basement with sewage and cracked the basement foundation.
Her backyard has been excavated for repairs, leaving dirt piled 10 feet high, so that masons could repair the foundation.
"I have no idea how I'm going to pay for this. And I have no choice but to stay here," Domino said.
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