United Way raises over $30,000 with flood recovery fundraiser

United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties has raised more than $30,000 for its flood relief fund. 

The funds will be used to reimburse non-profit organizations that are aiding people affected by the June 23 flooding, such as Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross, said Tom Olver, president and CEO of the United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties.

"We hope to help some folks, especially those in the lower income brackets that don't have the resources to replace the appliances or get the inspections and clean up that they need," Olver said.

The fund was established June 26, the Monday after the flooding occurred. Olver believes that the fund will remain active for quite some time, as the Isabella County Emergency Management Center is still in the process of assessing the damage caused by the flood, and the number of families who need assistance. 

With more than 1,900 private properties affected by the flood, and an estimated $39 million in damages towards private property across Isabella and Gratiot counties, the fund will continue to accept any money that it can, Olver said.

United Way is prioritizing cases that require "muck outs" and clean-ups, which includes making sure basements are dry and any residue from the flooding has been removed, said Olver. Building inspectors are also looking out for structural damage, mold and mildew caused by the flooding.

The flood relief effort also prioritizes mitigating mechanical damage caused by the flooding, including replacing appliances like washer heaters, furnaces and washing machines for residents who don't have flood insurance. 

Donations can be made online or via mobile phone by texting “ISABELLA” to 41444. Checks can also be mailed to 524 East Mosher Street,  Suite 400, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858, with “Disaster Relief” written in the memo line.