Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
Email Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspector FEMA stopped by early Saturday morning to stumble through our cluttered basement. I debated asking for the visit because there was very little damage from the Flood of 2008. Even though sewer backups are covered under our homeowner's, we didn't even apply. But it's extremely rare (thankfully) that FEMA is in town, we have a $500.00 deductible, and the sewer backed up not once, not twice, but five times within one week last month.
Didn't really want to ask for help because there were far more families and businesses worse off than us. But this flooding shouldn't have happened and I wanted someone other than the city to know. We've had sewer backups in our neighborhood for years, for whatever reasons, and was told by the director of public works two years ago that the replacement of pipe in our street would solve the problem. They did smoke testing to find illegal hookups and added more storm drains. The city seemed to do everything it could, short of increasing capacity or redesigning our connection to the main line, and for a while it worked. June's rain was the first big test since the new pipe was laid.
I wish it wouldn't have happened, because now it means we still have to worry about basement flooding every time it rains hard. What if we're away when it rains? We have a new, very expensive furnace / a/c down there among many other things. The only storm water allowed in the sanitary sewer should be through the floor drains of flooded basements. I have a feeling more basements were flooded through floor drains than were saved by them. I have a feeling leaking pipe, manhole openings and illegal hookups are allowing too much stormwater in.
By getting FEMA involved there will be a clearer picture of what happened and what needs to be done. When all monetary damages from the storm are added up the state will be given a percentage of that in a federal grant for infrastructure improvements to be distributed to counties according to need. I can see a need in our area for larger capacity pumps.
FEMA for Waukesha is currently set up at the County Highway Department off Grandview Blvd. between Northview and Silvernail from 10:00 to 7:00 every day except Sunday. Representatives from local, state and federal agencies are there to offer any assistance they can. Of the three times I visited there was never a crowd. Besides the free clean up kits offered, there is plenty of useful literature. One of the more interesting things offered is a U.S. Small Business Admin. Disaster Home Loan. If we apply and qualify we could get a loan at less than 3%, which would make it our lowest rate. (I can think of a few needed car repairs with that money.)
We didn't really need help but since FEMA is there... I picked up some ideas and made others aware of the problem in our area. If you don't need help but know of someone who might, be sure to suggest they stop in. FEMA won't be there forever.