Dealing with flood damage? Travis County estimates 400 buildings affected, advises recovery steps

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Recovery efforts are underway in Travis County to rebuild and repair after recent flooding. To date, the county has identified around 400 structures impacted by the floods, Travis County Chief Emergency Management Coordinator Eric Carter said Tuesday.

“Work is ongoing and active,” Carter said in a presentation to Travis County Commissioners. “We will start working with the state and the federal government hopefully later this week to do more detailed damage assessments as it relates to whether we will become eligible for individual assistance, if a presidential disaster declaration is made for this event.”

Travis County Floodplain Administrator Stacey Sheffel briefed county commissioners on steps property owners need to take now that the flood waters have receded.

“We are going to have to permit this recovery,” Sheffel said. “There will be residents who will not be allowed to rebuild their homes at the present elevations.”

A building permit is required for all repairs on flood-damaged structures, she said. Travis County Transportation and Natural Resources alongside the Fire Marshal’s Office have posted notices on the damaged structures identified to date. The notice provides basic information about steps residents need to take, Scheffel said.

Dealing with flood damage?

Follow these important, initial steps in the recovery process, as suggested by Travis County officials.

1. Start a flood claim
2. Document the damage
3. Remove wet materials and clean up mold
4. Apply for a building permit

Residents can call 512-854-4215 with questions about the permitting process or visit the emergency services webpage, www.traviscountytx.gov/emergency for more detailed instructions.

OTHER RESOURCES: guidelines for homeowners rebuilding or remodeling after a disaster

Emily Blair, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin shared with Community Impact Newspaper the following advice for homeowners seeking to rebuild or remodel after the recent flooding.

1. Select a professional builder or remodeler. Some qualifications to look for:
• A permanent business location
• Good reputation with local banks
• Longstanding, established business
• References who can verify the contractor’s work

2. Do not pay for the entire job upfront. Do not pay in cash.

3. Be wary of unusually low-priced bids.

4. Know that some disaster related expenses are tax exempt.

5. For more information, resources and guidance visit www.hbaaustin.com.

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Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Jackson Buchanan is the editor for the Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from The University of Texas.
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