Wood River granted $500,000 to help homeowners with flood recovery

WOOD RIVER, Neb. (KSNB) - It is a much different sight in Wood River than it was six months ago. Then the streets were full of water and people were being told to evacuate. Now you can't tell anything had ever happened in most places.

The Nebraska DED has awarded Wood River $500,000 to help residents with flood recovery. (KSNB)

“When you drive through the community, it looks like a nice community. We're back to green grass, beautiful flowers but we know there is a lot of hurt, a lot of anxiety, a lot of frustrations people are still harboring within their homes trying to get their lives back together,” Heartland Disaster Outreach Coordinator Elizabeth Troyer-Miller said.

About 65 homes were damaged in the flood and now the Nebraska Department of Economic Development is granting the city $500,000 to help individual homeowners in their recovery. This money is just for people who have not started rebuilding yet. It can help people who don't meet the requirements for FEMA or other loans.

“There's still people out there that either don't want to spend the money, or don't have the money, or FEMA will only reimburse you for living spaces. If it's just open family room or storage, FEMA doesn't really help you out there,” Wood River Mayor Greg Cramer said.

Households can apply for up to $35,000 but smaller amounts can be given to people dealing with a slightly bowed walls, drywall replacement, and any other damage.

“It's just a challenge because each situation is really unique and when you're caught off guard with this kind of significant damage for some families, most people don't have that kind of savings just to dip in to and take care of it immediately,” Troyer-Miller said.

The disaster outreach coordinator says recovery is projected to take at least two years in the best case scenario.

More information on how to apply for the grant money will become available in the next few days and people can stop by Wood River City Hall to learn more.