Dubuque couple has trouble with flood relief - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque couple has trouble with flood relief

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Homeowners trickle into FEMA disaster recovery centers across eastern Iowa, but one couple met rejection at every turn.

Flooding on July 24 cost Kelly Presley and more husband John more than just money.

"We lost furniture. We lost time off of work. We lost all the carpeting, all the flooring," Kelly Presley said.

Bare cement floors now covered with rugs pose a danger for Presley's husband.

"When you're on crutches...and cerebral palsy, to boot - he doesn't walk straight - so it's easy for him to get tripped on any of the rugs, and you can fall," Presley said.

Another silent threat the house holds is mold.

"It's just everywhere," Presley said.

Presley's insurance doesn't cover the damage, so she turned elsewhere.

"Having to ask for help is really hard," she said.

After getting bounced from FEMA to Small Business Association to 2-11, "I started calling: Project Concern, New View, Social Security, DHS," Presley said. All of them said, in one way or another, that they couldn't offer financial help.

"We either make too much money," Presley said, "'Do you have children?' 'Are you a vet?'"

A FEMA inspector did come mid-August but returned some bad news.

"FEMA came back with a rejection, saying, 'you didn't have enough damage,' and so I wouldn't qualify for any help," Presley said. "We're just at our wits' end because, like, where do you go?"

As it turns out, Presley went to Dubuque's new FEMA disaster recovery center to work on her official appeal.

"You're entitled to that one appeal," recovery center manager Chuck Stubbs said. "we hope that if it really was a necessary thing, that you do get good results from it."

FEMA employees there told Presley they've arranged for a licensed contractor to come in on Saturday and give her an estimate of what it would cost to repair the home.

"I feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel!" Presley said. "I feel like we're maybe actually going to make some headway. I mean, it'll still be a bit of a bumpy road getting there."

FEMA said if an inspector is coming to check out flood damage in your home, be sure to have a specific list of all the affected areas to show.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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