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Where's the money?: Wayne County residents waiting for grants 6 months after flooding

Posted at 8:40 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 20:40:52-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Thousands of Wayne County residents suffered thousands of dollars in damage during those devastating June storms.

Wayne County got nearly $5.6 million to help those who lost so much when their basements flooded.

So where is the money?

It’s been six months, but families across metro Detroit are still trying to recover after torrential downpours turned freeways into lakes and basements into sewage-filled disaster zones.

“It had to be over $10,000 worth of damage,” Gary Maciarz said.

Maciarz says he lost decades worth of family treasures and suffered other basement damage after water filled his Dearborn home during the June 25 storms.

“There is an entire floor down there that needs to be repaired,” Marciarz said.

Marciarz did get some money through the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the storms. But he’s on a fixed income and is still desperately in need of basement repairs. So, when Marciarz heard that the state legislature gave Wayne County nearly $5.6 million to help flooding victims, he applied.

“It’s pretty frustrating because I’m trying to recover money that I’ve already put out of my pockets. The money I got from FEMA was spent pretty quickly on just preventive measures, trying to keep the water out of my basement next time,” Marciarz said.

Marciarz says the county emailed him in November, telling him he would be getting a grant, but he’s heard nothing since then.

“What’s taking so long to distribute this money?” Marciarz asked.

Other homeowners who suffered damage have told the 7 Investigators they are also waiting for their money, and Marciarz says you can’t get in touch with anyone at the county to ask questions.

“I’ve tried calling just the main line,” Marciarz said. “I’ve reached out to the CEO of Wayne County, sent him a note through their website and I’ve never gotten a reply back from him either. So, it’s frustrating trying to get through to them. I don’t have an answer.”

The 7 Investigators reached out to Wayne County to get some answers for Gary and other residents.

County spokeswoman Tiffani Jackson told us in a statement: “Nobody has received payment as of yet; there was a delay in the county receiving funds. Grant payments will be disbursed after the new year.”

Jackson said the county received the money on Dec. 3, 2021. A spokeswoman for the Michigan State Police Emergency Services Division said the money was paid to the county on Nov. 30, 2021.

“I think Wayne County’s just sitting on their hands,” Marciarz said. “Help me out please.”

According to the county, if you were approved for a grant, you’ll get paid with a prepaid debit card that will be mailed directly to your home.

If you have a story for Heather, please email her at hcatallo@wxyz.com.