Flooding happens and it can be brutal. The Duluth area is definitely not strangers to this and Northland residents have reported floodwaters gushing up through their floor drains, which is something that is not at all unusual.
A year ago, there was a flood that made Northland residents nod their heads in frustration. There were approximately 3,145 homes damaged. Around 1,900 of those homes saw significant damage. Overall, the value of 295 homes was cut in half and 72 were completely destroyed. The total amount of the damage…over $40 million. If the personal possessions and other pieces of personal property were to be included in the numbers, it is fair to say another $20 million would be tacked on to that number.
Amazingly, the applications for flood recovery loans continue to be submitted as individuals discover new damage or they reach the end of the line on their own resources.
It was anticipated that individuals would see additional damage during the spring. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has stepped up to help pay for damage done to public buildings, but businesses and residents have had to turn to loans and other resources in order to recover.
Like many residents in Northland, 63-year-old Bruce Pomeroy was watching TV when he heard a roaring sound coming from his basement. When he opened the door, he was shocked to see 2 ½ feet of water and it was rising really quick. He said the water was shooting out of his floor drain like someone had knocked over a fire hydrant.
Pomeroy tried to pump out the water by using a shop vac, but the machine’s motor burnt out from trying to keep up.
At that time, Pomeroy had a furnace that was only 3 years old. He managed to get through the winter with it, but an inspection showed it was about to fail. Fortunately, Pomeroy received a loan from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to help him get a new furnace, sump pump, and water heater. He was also able to update his electrical wiring to ensure it was up to code. As of June 6, 2013, 259 of these forgivable no-interest Quick Start loans have been awarded at a total of $4.54 million. It’s expected that these loans could total $9 million before it is over.