DC-area counties look into federal funding for flash flood recovery

It’s possible parts of the D.C. area could qualify for federal assistance following the flash flooding Monday, and some residents are being encouraged to let their respective counties know about any damage they’ve experienced.

Montgomery County, Maryland, has opened a damage assessment portal where residents and businesses can submit a damage reporting form through July 15.

The county said the data collected will help determine if the county meets the FEMA eligibility threshold to apply for federal funding.

“Getting a federal disaster declaration is very difficult,” said Earl Stoddard, director of the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “We’re not sure we’re going to meet those thresholds, but we want to give our residents the best opportunity to make the case to the state that such a declaration is necessary.”

Stoddard said that no one should delay filing an insurance claim in the hopes of a federal payout. “Even if we were to qualify for FEMA reimbursement, this is a monthslong process,” he said.

Stoddard added that in Montgomery County, 15 to 20 homes had sustained “fairly significant” water damage in their basement. In a few, “the standing water in the homes was measurable in feet as opposed to inches.”

Fairfax County, Virginia, also has a disaster damage database, where residents can report damage to see if the county might get any federal assistance. Those reports are due by July 24.

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