Drained: Officials urge residents to report storm damage

More than two weeks after heavy rains caused flooding across Johnson County, officials still are working to tally the damage, and are asking the public to help.

Before the county can get any federal disaster relief funds, the first requirement is that there be about $3.50 in uninsured damage for every county resident, or a total of $525,000. So far, the county has recorded $80,000 in damage, and is still asking that residents contact the county’s emergency management office to report any damage to their home that would qualify.

The rainfall, which at its heaviest point hit about 8 inches in the Center Grove area, fell short of the 11 inches Johnson County received in 2008, which resulted in millions of dollars of damage. But Johnson County Emergency Management Director Stephanie Sichting believes the total damage could still eventually top the amount required for an emergency to be declared.

The seven homeowners that have contacted the county so far are from Greenwood, Bargersville and Franklin, she said. Units at Parkside Apartments in Franklin also flooded, and two of those residents have reported damage.

The majority of damage to homes was with basement flooding, which means the county isn’t going to be aware of it unless the damage is reported by the homeowner, she said.

One reason homeowners haven’t contacted the county yet is because they have to wait for insurance agencies to finish their own assessments first, she said.

That has been the case for one Center Grove neighborhood, Brentridge, that had serious flooding as the result an an electrical outage that caused basement sump pumps to stop working, she said.

Johnson County residents whose homes or businesses were damaged in the flood earlier this month should call the county emergency management to let them know of any damage not covered by insurance. Homeowners will need to provide documentation, such as a letter from their insurance agency denying coverage, she said.

To qualify for emergency relief, the county would likely need around 50 or more homeowners to have reported uninsured damaged. Then, both the state and federal government would need to declare an emergency, which would enable residents to receive financial assistance from the government and nonprofit agencies, reimbursement for lost items or low interest rates loans for repairs.

At a glance

The county is working to assess total damage from flooding earlier this month. If enough damage is reported, the county could be come eligible for disaster relief funding.

Residents who have home or property damage not covered by their insurance are asked to contact Johnson County Emergency Management at 317-736-9064.

Author photo
Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.