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Michigan Flood Relief: Detroit

On June 26th, 2021 heavy rainfall inundated Wayne and Oakland County in Southeast Michigan. The city of Detroit was one of the most heavily impacted areas seeing as much as 7” of rainfall accumulation within a five-hour period. Comparatively, in 2014 during a similar flood event, Detroit experienced 4”-6” of rainfall in a four-hour period.

Southeast Michigan experienced widespread flooding, power outages, flooded roadways, flooded homes, and displaced residents. Local pump stations were not able to run at full capacity which caused further flooding to homes. The mayor of Detroit was quoted as saying “We got more than two months of rain in just one day. The water couldn’t even get down the storm drains … the system was completely overwhelmed.”

Disaster Profile

The majority of water damage was in basements and was caused by heavy rain during the day of the storm or sewer back-up caused by the flooding. Some homes have already been gutted but the majority of them will still need sanitation done. The City of Detroit is working on scrubbing down their list of ~2000 homes impacted in the city and expect to see ~600 residential homes that still need mold sanitation or gutting work done.

Our Work

Our operations base is near the center of Detroit provided by the Salvation Army. We are looking to increase our workforce with an Americorps NCCC team. We will continue to schedule out our Disaster Assessment and Response Team (DART) members so we always have a minimum of two teams until September 3rd. We are exploring the option of using corporate groups and local volunteers in the area to increase our field capacity.

We are working closely with 2 other VOAD groups that have been working in the area. NECHAMA – Jewish Response to Disaster and the Michigan’s Baptist Convention. We have started to assess homes that have already been gutted by Nechama so we can amplify both our efforts by following behind and providing Mold Sanitation assistance. This allows us all to expand our capacity and see homes through completion.

While we start work on assessing the homes referred to us by our VOAD partners, the city of Detroit is compiling a list of homes still in need of assistance and will be distributing them among us. We hope to all work together with our small teams to maximize our impacts and provide support to the Motor City.

Through our initial site assessments, we’re finding that doing Mold Sanitation in basements is different from what we’ve encountered in other disasters. We’re refining our guidelines and procedures with our Team Leaders on the ground so we can provide consistent messaging to our volunteers and NCCC teams.

Community Stories

The homes of those we’ve assessed have been sitting untreated since the storm and require varying degrees of sanitation done. When we assessed the home of Dimita Pittman; there was extensive sanitation and drying that needed to be done. Dimita was already suffering from respiratory issues before the storm and having to live in a home where mold was present was exuberating her condition. When we were able to tell her that we can help and make her home a healthy environment to stay in again. She expressed her sincere gratitude and was grateful that we could help. Being the matriarch of her family; she spent a long time taking care of her aunt and grandchildren. Being able to support her resilience to the circumstances and allowing us to be able to take a bit of the burden off her is what we’re grateful to provide.

Help support our Michigan Flood Relief Program by donating today.

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Program Work

All Hands and Hearts Mucking and Gutting

Mucking and Gutting Mucking and Gutting

Mucking and gutting is a crucial step in ensuring the structure is adequately prepared for the repair/rebuild process. Mucking is the removal of mud, muck, silt and other typically semi-solid material from a home, caused by water inundation, while gutting is the removal of damaged construction-related materials, including drywall, insulation, floorboards, paneling and cabinets.

All Hands and Hearts Mucking and Gutting

Mucking and Gutting Mucking and Gutting

Mucking and gutting is a crucial step in ensuring the structure is adequately prepared for the repair/rebuild process. Mucking is the removal of mud, muck, silt and other typically semi-solid material from a home, caused by water inundation, while gutting is the removal of damaged construction-related materials, including drywall, insulation, floorboards, paneling and cabinets.

Mold SanitationMold Sanitation

Mold sanitation is the process of using chemicals and equipment such as moisture meters, dehumidifiers and fans to eradicate abnormal mold and mildew growth. This process dries the structure, controls humidity and reduces the moisture content of structural components prior to repairing or rebuilding.