'Flood Homes with Hope' Offers Flood Assistance

By KBJR News 1

June 18, 2013 Updated Jun 18, 2013 at 10:36 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- As we near the one–year anniversary of the floods that swept through the Northland, people continue to piece their lives back together as many continue to look for key recovery services a year later.

The images of last June's historic floods are still fresh in the minds of many Northlanders, turning streets into rivers in a matter of minutes.

For Connie Ellis she recalls the flood as an eerie wake up call.

"The flood was quite remarkable, we noticed it about one o'clock at night it just came into the house so quietly."

On Tuesday, Ellis met with agencies on behalf of her 96–year–old mother at the Flood Homes with Hope event, a program aimed at long–term flood recovery effort.

"I'm here to find out for my mother if we can have some help with some fill dirt for the garage that is now gone," said Connie Ellis, flood victim.

Disaster management officials at Lutheran Social Service, say the people they are hearing from are desperate for relief.

"I think people have the feeling of being overwhelmed and are like when is this going to end? I think that is the common experience that people have," said Sharon Rigby Osborn, Disaster Case Manager, Lutheran Social Service.

Duluth Mayor Don Ness says many of the problems still stalling the recovery efforts are the complex negotiations on local, state and federal levels to find adequate funding.

"A tremendous amount of time and energy is negotiating with the federal government and the state government to find the funding sources to address the damage that the flood created," said Mayor Don Ness.

But despite this fight for funding, Ellis and her mother are pleased with the response from local officials.

"It could have been a little bit faster, but all in all I think it was just fine, and she's really grateful for all the help she's had," said Ellis.

The Flood Homes With Hope program has assisted more than 380 households with their long-term flood recovery needs, including returning their homes to livable conditions.

Jeremy Brickley