County seeking damage reports from homes

Fierce run-off from the June 15-16 storm damaged roads and homes in Covington. 

But disaster officials pessimistic about securing aid 

COVINGTON, Ky. - Kenton County disaster officials continue to collect information from Covington residents in hopes of securing federal aid for damage to homes from flooding and sewage backups during torrential rains June 15-16.
But - leery of giving false hope - they say they’re not optimistic the effort will succeed.
“We need people to fill out this damage survey report, but we don’t want to give anybody unrealistic expectations,” said Steve Hensley, director of Kenton County Homeland Security Emergency Management.
The problem is the narrow description of what qualifies under federal guidelines, Hensley said. The damage must be an uninsured loss. It must be to a living space. And in most cases, damage to personal possessions and water in unfinished basements do not qualify, he said. 
(For a 276-page guide to FEMA’s Individual Assistance program, click HERE.)

Out of approximately 50 questionnaires received so far from homeowners, none appear to qualify, although disaster officials have reached out to several homeowners to get more information, Hensley said.
Still, he encourage residents to fill out the short survey, which can be found at
If enough homes have damage that does qualify, Kenton County could use the evidence to make a request for a disaster declaration and trigger the request for federal aid, he said. In addition, it’s important to have a database of damaged homes along with contact information, in case something changes, he said.
The request for Individual Assistance is usually made alongside a parallel process involving potential federal reimbursement for Public Assistance, which applies to damage to public infrastructure - such as roads, sidewalks, and other publicly owned property.
The damage to public areas in Kenton County would need to reach $650,000 with statewide damage of at least $6.5 million to trigger requests for necessary local, state, and federal declarations, Hensley said. But preliminary evidence shows the estimates will fall far short of those thresholds based on information supplied by City officials, he said.
“Still,” he said, “it’s important to compile the numbers and try.”
The storm
In Covington, the storm dumped 5 inches of rain in just a few hours on ground that was already saturated by weeks of rain.
Streets in some areas of the city were covered with a couple of feet of rushing water pouring off hillsides and eventually into basements.
Basements in some other areas of the city were filled with diluted sanitary sewage when floor drains backed up. Those areas generally have an old-fashioned “combined” sewer system that is used for both sanitary sewage and storm water run-off. In extremely heavy rains, the system can get overwhelmed.
The City continues to partner with Sanitation District No. 1 - which manages storm water drainage in Northern Kentucky - to make long-term improvements to the system.
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