The city of Wilmington is offering plumbing and electrical help to residents dealing with the aftermath of the Sept. 2 flooding.
Specifically, the city will provide funding to homeowners for certain essential services, including:
- Plumbing/mechanical work for the restoration of gas service
- Electrical inspections
- Damage to HVAC systems, hot water heaters, and electrical panels
To access the help, homeowners must call the city’s 3-1-1 service line to arrange the funding.
Mayor Mike Purzycki said officials know there are people having trouble, but don’t know how to reach them.
“That is why it’s imperative homeowners now reach out to the city through the 311 system so that individual household problems can be assessed and so funding can be provided for necessary inspections and repairs,” he said.
People who need help mucking out or dealing with debris should still call the Crisis Cleanup Hotline at 1-844-965-1386, he said.
A city press release said flooding brought on by the remnants of Hurricane Ida affected as many as 275 property owners, both commercial and residential. While utility service has been restored to about half of the affected properties, quite a few households continue to experience plumbing as well as electric and gas issues.
Residents have many ways to access help.
The city’s Crisis Cleanup Hotline is supposed to serve as a clearinghouse for all the muck out, tear out and remove water. Those who call can be connected with local volunteer groups that may assist with cutting fallen trees; removing drywall, flooring and appliances; tarping roofs; and mold mitigation.
The work will be provided by volunteers at no cost to the resident. Team Rubicon, a national disaster response organization made of military veterans, has teams in the area.
Service is not guaranteed and resources are limited. Residents must provide information to the hotline and may be contacted by a representative from a participating organization who will determine if they are able to help.
The Crisis Cleanup Hotline will remain open with extended hours until Friday, October 1, 2021, though residents can call and leave a message at any time.
This hotline does not provide help with social services such as food, clothing, and shelter.
For other assistance or to help:
Food or social services — Please contact the Social Services Call Center at 302-571-4900. Deaf or Hearing-Impaired individuals can call 7-1-1 and give the Customer Service Call Center number. Residents should continue to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
DEMA Flood Cleanup — The Delaware Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Assistance Program, funded by the state’s Emergency Management Resilience Fund, will provide cleanup services for qualifying households through the Milford Housing Development Corporation. These services may include mucking, removal of damaged drywall, moisture control of affected areas, minor structural repairs and insurance deductable assistance. Apply by calling 844-413-0038. Eligibility and location requirements apply. People must be able to show proof of residency, live in a house with an annual income of $52,00 or less, and live in the East side area of Northeast Boulevard to 17th Street, from 17th to Bowers, from Bowers to E. 12th Street, from E. 12th Street to Pullman and from Pullman to Northeast Boulevard.
To donate food and other supplies — The Teen Warehouse, REACH Riverside and Kingswood Community Center, also known as the WRK Group, is collecting and distributing food and other supplies to the community this week. Cash donations are requested through Friday, Sept. 17, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or at reachriverside.org/donate.
To volunteer — Anyone interested in assisting with ongoing recovery efforts should contact the Delaware Volunteer Agencies Active in Disasters. The group brings together organizations to work together to help Delawareans affected by disasters. Click here to sign up with the volunteer agency.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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