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Federal Flood help denied, City offers loans

Millions of dollars in damage from the 2014 Floods is not enough to get state and federal aid. The City of La Quinta’s request for emergency funds after the September flash flood got denied, now business and home owners are left with few options to rebuild.

These emergency funds would have given flood victims in La Quinta, Indian Wells and Thousand Palms low interest loans to help cover the costs of rebuilding. Now without it, homeowners we talked to don’t know where to turn next

“It just built up so quickly that the water went up to the level of our mail boxes,” said flood victim Diane Scurlock.

Three inches of rain in one hour overwhelmed La Quinta’s drainage system.

“With in that short period of time, I had about four to five inches in the house,” said Scurlock. “It complete ruined all my floors I had to rip it all out.”

Scurlock just moved back into her home two days ago and with no flood insurance she paid the repair bill on her own.

“My husband had passed away, I had paid all of his medical bills and I had $20,000 in my savings, I have $1,000 in my savings today. it’s not going to be enough to finish it,” said Scurlock.

“It frustrating, you are taking a lot of money you have saved and earning and now having to pump it back into my house because the city was negligent as far as maintaining their pipes and drainage systems and flooded our homes and this wasn’t the first time,” said flood victim Steven Gardner.

“Somebody needs to do something about it, the city needs to step up and take care of it’s people,” said Scurlock.

La Qunita’s City Manager Frank Spevacek says any system would have failed under the historic storm and to overhaul it would cost upwards of $20 million.

“Our challenge is that we incurred about $3.5 million to our facilities and in the post redevelopment world where the state took $42 million from our reserves, we don’t have the money we once did as a community to be able to provide the assistance we may have, two or five years ago,” said Spevacek.

Instead the City will work with with the Coachella Valley Association of Governments to provide flood victims with local low interest loans through the Ygrene program.

“What that provides is low cost financing that is paid through your property tax bill for improvements to your home,” said Spevacek.

Right now $25 million is available for funding assistance for local residents. For information on how to apply click here.

KESQ News Team

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