Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2014

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Federal officials deny Clark County’s disaster application for September storm, flooding

Image

Steve Marcus

Cars drive through storm runoff behind Planet Hollywood during a rainstorm Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012.

Damage caused by a record storm Sept. 11 in the Las Vegas Valley fell short of the threshold to receive federal disaster aid, Clark County officials announced Wednesday afternoon.

“This is disappointing news to the dozens of residents who suffered damage from these storms,” said Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, whose District E includes neighborhoods near the Desert Rose Golf Course and UNLV that were hardest hit by the storm that dumped up to 2.05 inches of rain on the valley. It was the heaviest rainfall on record in September in Las Vegas.

Approximately 73 residential properties were identified as having received minor flood damage.

Damage to roads, parks, buildings and other types of public infrastructure was estimated at just under $1.4 million dollars, below the required $6.6 million threshold for a federal declaration of disaster.

The threshold, though, doesn’t matter to those who did suffer damage, Giunchigliani said.

“Many do not have flood insurance and there won’t be any government programs to assist them as we had hoped. Any assistance for struggling homeowners and renters will come in the form of donations of money, labor and supplies to nonprofit organizations such as SHARE, which has been active in trying to help flood victims,” she said.

The county said the news wasn’t all bad for some owners of properties damaged by the deluge. Affected businesses and any homeowners who rent out their homes are potentially eligible for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

SHARE is continuing to work with local partners in the public and private sector to assist flood victims on a case by case basis as donations allow. The group is still seeking donations of volunteer, building materials and cash contributions to help repair homes that were damaged. To volunteer assistance or financial donations to SHARE, call 702-624-5792.

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  1. Not surprising to hear.

  2. The criteria for assistance should not be based on an absolute aggregate number, but on the individual circumstances. A family who loses their home is just as bad off whether it was only their home or 100 others and needs the same help in either case.