WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder toured flood-damage in metropolitan Detroit on Monday, meeting a woman who’s living in a tent in the front yard of her water-damaged home.
Coreena Dragoi, 46, said she moved into a tent after her water and mold made her house uninhabitable.
“Everything on the first floor is a disaster,” she told Snyder. He said she and her 19-year-old son, Jeremy Long, have had to keep scavengers away from the house.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts accompanied Snyder and U.S. Rep. Sander Levin on the visit to the northern Detroit suburb. Fouts said it’s vital to get federal aid for his community, where about 18,000 homes sustained some type of flood damage in last week’s record-setting rainstorm.
“They’re putting up with all kinds of discomforts and indignities,” Fouts told reporters. “We’ve got to get help from the federal government as soon as possible.”
Snyder said that he has asked the state insurance commissioner to look into the situation. He said he’s also been in contact with officials at the state and federal level regarding flood problems.
“The biggest thing we need to do is get all of the information together for a presidential (disaster) declaration,” Snyder said.
The storm that hit Aug. 10 dumped more than 6 inches of rain in places, flooding surface streets and many basements. Some manhole covers and sewer grates were pushed up and out of place. Expressways were closed for days.
Warren, a city of 134,000 is home of General Motors Co.‘s Tech Center, which has had operations curtailed by flooding. GM said it hopes to have all 19,000 employees and contract workers back into their buildings by Friday.
GM spokeswoman Katie McBride told The Detroit News that as of Monday, 15,500 employees and contractors were working from the Tech Center.
According to McBride, the 3,500 remaining employees were working remotely and from other sites while the cleanup continues.
The Tech Center houses workers in areas such as engineering, design, research and development, customer service and information technology.
Detroit announced that it was opening two centers Tuesday through Friday to help residents get assistance for their flood-related needs. The centers won’t offer direct aid but will help people apply for assistance as well as deal with contractors and health issues.
Suburban Southfield said it’s opening a resource center Wednesday and Thursday to advise and help residents with their flooding problems.