While much of the flood-related attention has focused on hard-hit areas of Nashville, many families in Franklin have been working to clean up their own water damage.
So far, the Franklin Solid Waste Department has collected more than 700 tons of debris from neighborhoods along the winding Harpeth River.
More than 300 residences and 50 nonresidential buildings in Franklin sustained flood damage, Communications Manager Milissa Reierson said. The city is about 95 percent finished with its damage assessment.
Most of the 350 homes and businesses suffered water damage, but only a “small portion” of residents were displaced, Reierson said.
“I would say there was about 3 to 6 feet of water in homes,” she said. “Over near Pinkerton Park, which was completely under water, in the Ewingville subdivision, some homes took as much as 8 feet of water.”
Like many flood-ravaged cities in Middle Tennessee, Franklin is offering free building permits to help victims start over.
Another avenue of help is the federal government.
Williamson County is one of 42 Tennessee counties that have been declared federal disaster areas by President Obama. That means flood victims have access to federal funds to help rebuild or repair their homes and businesses.
A Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster recovery center opened Monday in Franklin’s city hall.
FEMA’s Bill Brunson said about 80 families have registered in person for federal assistance since the center opened Monday. It will remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday as long as the need exists.
“Many people think the Small Business Administration is just for businesses, but under a disaster — we’re under a disaster now — they also work with individuals,” Brunson said. “If you’re underinsured, for example, then the SBA can help, too.
“We have limits and that may not be enough for some people. We have other agencies like the SBA here to help those who may need more help.”
In the Williamson County Disaster Relief Center, flood victims can find representatives from the Small Business Administration, Tennessee Department of Human Services and the state unemployment office. Materials are also available from the IRS on how to amend your 2009 federal income tax form to include flood damage and what they can claim on their 2010 taxes.
On Saturday starting at 1 p.m., a communitywide cleanup is planned for Pinkerton Park, which has been closed since the flood.
“It was completely under water,” Rierson said. “We just trying to get everything back in working order.”
For more on the Franklin cleanup or how to apply for disaster relief, visit the city of Franklin website at http://www.franklin-gov.com/index.aspx?page=656
For solid waste pick-up call 794-1516.
To report damage to your home call 794-7012.
Contact FEMA at 1- 800-621-FEMA and www.disasterassistance.gov.