How to get help, avoid scams as you rebuild from destructive floods

Posted at 7:29 AM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 10:29:06-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Many families will begin the recovery process Wednesday morning as the historic flood waters in Kansas City' slowly recede. Flash floods forced waters from rivers and creeks into homes and businesses overnight Monday and through Tuesday morning.

PHOTOS | Dangerous flash flooding hits KC again

People in communities like Harrisonville, Grandview, Parkville and Kansas City woke up to several inches of water in their homes, basements and roadways. That means repairs to drywall, siding and landscaping will be necessary.

"You can't really describe how you feel, because it's just kind of a hopeless feeling. You can't stop it," explained Marlea Struble, whose Cass County home flooded. 

The Missouri and Kansas attorneys general warn folks in these communities that scam artists may try to take advantage of flooding victims.

As you rebuild, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be weary of a door-to-door contractors asking for money up front
  • Don't provide financial info over the phone
  • Ask to see a contractor's license and insurance information
  • Get multiple estimates before choosing a contractor

Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt activated a program to get small business owners and farmers emergency loans to recover from the floods. The Harmed-area Emergency Loan Priority (HELP) program allows applicants to get low-interest loans within 24 hours.

"Recovering from flood damage can be a lengthy and burdensome process. Activating this program slashes red tape so small businesses and farmers can quickly obtain financing for recovery efforts without facing a mountain of paperwork and regulation," Schmitt explained in a statement.

Business owners interested in applying should look for a participating lender in the Missouri Linked Deposit Program.

In Johnson County, leaders issued a local disaster declaration. It allows the county to request more funding and resources from the state of Kansas to repair public infrastructure.