Coping with flood damage

Sandra ClarkOn the Grow, Powell

If you or a friend had property damaged by last week’s flooding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides this information:

Property owners in Knoxville and Knox County are encouraged to contact 3-1-1 (or 865-215-4311) to report significant flood damage to their personal or commercial property.

Damage assessment is the first step in seeking federal assistance. The damage assessment will be forwarded to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), which will collect data from multiple communities to see if the damage estimate reaches a threshold to qualify for application for possible federal assistance.

If federal assistance becomes available, local media outlets will provide guidelines and individuals that have reported damage to 3-1-1 will be contacted with additional information. Federal assistance is not guaranteed for our region, but the information gathered through reporting to 3-1-1 will greatly assist in determining eligibility.

A Crisis Cleanup Help Line is in place for people who need help with muck-out, debris removal and home cleanup from the recent flooding. Phone 1-833-556-2476. The number is staffed 24/7 and will be available through March 15, 2019. Callers should be ready to provide their name and contact information, and a brief description of their issue to the relief agency representative who answers the Help Line. While assistance is not guaranteed, Crisis Cleanup connects disaster survivors with trusted relief agencies and keeps personal information confidential.

Damaged properties reported to 3-1-1 may be verified by uniformed first responders or government employees. If homeowners or business owners see a uniformed first responder, they should not be startled. The Knoxville Police Department, Knoxville Fire Department, Rural/Metro Fire Department, Karns Fire Department, Seymour Volunteer Fire Department, and Knox County Sheriff’s Office as well as city and county employees are currently conducting damage assessments throughout Knoxville and Knox County.

FEMA has provided guidelines and information on returning to flooded buildings ( and on repairing flooded homes (

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