State, Federal Aid Coming To Help Businesses, Homeowners

State, Federal Aid Coming To Help Businesses, Homeowners

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According to Salem Community Development Director Greg Fitzloff, paperwork has been signed and turned in from local officials to the State of Indiana so the process of declaring Salem as a disaster area can be declared by Indiana’s Governor Eric Holcomb.

“Both the city and county have applied to the governor’s office for him to declare a State of Emergency in Salem in the affected area,” said Fitzloff. “We should know something soon about that.”

State Representative Steve Davisson and Indiana Senator Erin Houchin were on the Main Street Bridge yesterday to assess damage. 

Salem Community Development Director Greg Fitzloff talks with members of the Salem City Council and Board of Works along with Salem Mayor Troy Merry yesterday morning.

Jason Cockeril, a rep for US Representative Trey Hollingsworth came by Saturday morning to pledge support. Hollingsworth himself stopped by later in the afternoon. 

Fitzloff said local businesses and residents who were affected by Friday’s flooding should first contact their insurance companies. 

“That’s the first order of business,” he said. “Let them come in and make assessments on loss and get that taken care of.”

For those who didn’t have insurance or who did not have flood insurance, the state and federal aid will be coming soon.

“Once the state signs off, it will allow the federal agencies to begin to take a look and see what they can offer,” he said. 

“I talked with the Department of Homeland Security and they are in contact with Desi [Alexander],” said Fitzloff. “They specifically will work with the Small Business Administration to give assistance.”

He said the devastation has been limited to mainly businesses but has also affected some homeowners. 

“El Camino had just received their weekly shipment of supplies on Friday,” he noted. “That’s all gone.” 

Miller Hardware and Salem Lumber both were flooded and lost most of their stock. 

Joe Kacknavage said Friday night the water was at least six feet inside his business on Water Street. 

Saturday gave most of the business owners a chance to get back into their businesses after the flooding and most were busy scraping out mud, throwing out wet carpet and assessing damage. 

“What i would tell anyone,” said Fitzloff. “Give it a day or two for the information to go from local to state to federal and those agencies will be in a better position to let us know what is covered and what is not. We’ll be meeting hopefully Monday and will have more information then.”

Fitzloff also said Monday would see a full assessment of Salem’s wastewater treatment plant. 
 
“The wastewater treatment plant is back in operation and we’ll have our engineers and IDEM will be in town to do a full assessment on Monday morning. It’s operational. Capacity wise and things we might have to clean out,” he said. 
 
Salem has not had to issue a boil water advisory for it’s water system because the pipes held their pressure and there were no line breaks. 
 
 
“If you’re without water, without electricity and your building is flooded, it’s tough,” said Fitzloff. “But we’re doing everything possible to get that corrected as soon as possible. By tomorrow people are going to have a much better idea of what is needed.”