A “disaster recovery” center is now open for the 140 households in Des Moines that were flooded earlier this month. Last week officials closed the emergency shelter that had been set up for residents flooded out of their homes by torrential rains.
“Initially our effort was to make sure that anybody that was displaced from the flood had a place to stay and over a course of a week we worked with them to transition them to temporary housing,” Polk County Health Department director Terri Hinkels said, “And then we also knew that FEMA was going to be here in town, coming up pretty soon, and people were really wanting to recover. They were wanting to get their homes clean and get the debris out. They’re ready for that.”
Polk County’s Health Department is providing free tetanus shots, goggles, and rubber gloves, while the Red Cross is offering cleaning supplies. Residents may apply for financial assistance or receive crisis counseling at the “recovery center.” Dwayne Pierce stopped by Friday to get financial help. His basement flooded when the sewer backed up.
“I had to buy a new water heater and I’m applying for a partial grant to help pay for it ’cause I’m on military retired pay,” Pierce said. In Ames, officials estimate over 1,000 homes and businesses were hit by the flash flooding. In Colfax, up to 300 homes were flooded.