Three speakers gave presentations to Hamburg residents during a special meeting regarding flood issues on Saturday at the First Baptist Church.
Bill Cappuccio, Environmental Engineer for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, spoke about the permit process for rebuilding after the flood.
Clark Patterson of the Federal Emergency Management Agency spoke about the work that has been done to get preliminary damage estimates for structures in Hamburg.
And Dennis Anderson of GoServ Global spoke about the ways in which his non-profit organization has been helping and  ways that it will continue to help as Hamburg residents recover from the flood.
Cappuccio began the  program by explaining that Hamburg residents would need to obtain a permit before going forward with rebuilding or rehabilitating in Hamburg’s floodplain.
Cappuccio said Hamburg participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
By being in the NFIP, Hamburg residents are able to have access to flood insurance and are eligible for disaster aid, among other benefits.
In order to participate in the NFIP, the city of Hamburg is required to have an ordinance which requires a permit in order to develop property within the floodplain.
The first step in the permit process is getting an estimate of the damage to the property in question.
Patterson and a team from FEMA, were to complete work in getting preliminary estimates of damage to structures in Hamburg by May 7.
The information, Patterson said, would be shared with the city of Hamburg and with Southwest Iowa Planning Council (SWIPCO), which is the acting administrating organization for the city of Hamburg.
Residents will be getting a letter in the mail  that will give an estimate of damage.
From that point, the property owner will decide whether to rebuild and what will be required to rebuild.
If the damage for a property is less than 50 percent of its assessed value, Cappuccio said a permit can be obtained and work may commence to restore the property to its pre-flood state.
If the damage is higher than 50 percent of its value, however, the process is more complicated.
The property owner of a building with over 50 percent or what’s termed as substantial damage, will only be allowed to rebuild if they elevate the property in accordance with the floodplain. The property owner could also decide to build outside the floodplain.
How is elevation accomplished?
Cappuccio said there are a number of ways that a building can be elevated to achieve compliance for the purpose of rebuilding.
And there may be assistance too.
Cappuccio said that a claim can be filed for ICC or Increased Cost of Compliance, to help offset the cost of elevating the building.
A property owner with an over 50 percent estimate of damage could also begin an appeal process to dispute the amount of damage as it relates to the value of the structure in its pre-flood state.
Once SWIPCO receives the damage estimates and sends property owners notices by mail, it will also schedule office hours at Hamburg City Hall for face-to-face meetings with property owners.
The number of hours and times will depend on the number of assessments are over 50 percent in damage.
Evening and day hours will be scheduled as needed.
Besides those times, property owners will also be able to contact SWIPCO between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with questions and concerns.
The point of contact and project lead at SWIPCO for the Hamburg Floodplain Management is Danielle (Dani) Luhrs, community development specialist. Her email is Her direct phone number is 712-243-4196, Ext. 219. And her toll free number is 866-279-4720.
Following the presentations on damage estimates and permitting, Anderson spoke in regard to work that his non-profit, GoServ Global, hopes to under take.
Up until Saturday, Anderson said the efforts were on clean up or mucking of flooded property.
That work will continue, Anderson said. He encouraged all those who need help with clean up to sign up for at the hospital.
Going forward, GoServ is hoping to help those residents who will need to tear down their structures.
“We are working hard to position ourselves to help you remove a structure,” Anderson said.
The hope is that the removal of the structure can be done for little to no cost for a property owner who might not be able to make such an arrangement on their own.
“If you have to tear down your house and it’s going to be a financial burden to you—that’s who we want to help,” Anderson said.
Logistics of the arrangement are being worked out. Anderson said there might be some disposal cost that home owners would have to endure—that would be the cost incurred at the landfill.
Anderson said the cost of labor related to tearing down, hauling materials away and hauling in dirt to fill in the vacant property would likely be covered. Equipment costs related to the process would likely be covered too.
If there are simply no funds available for disposal, Anderson said GoServ would do everything it could to help.
As a non-profit, Anderson said the organization couldn’t make promises but assured that the organization was there to help in any way possible.
When will the tear down process start?
Anderson said the first step in the process will be to develop a list of properties to be torn down.
GoServe definitely has experience in tearing down buildings after a disaster event.
Volunteers from GoServ came to the aid of residents after an F4 tornado event in Washington, Ill.
The team worked with 75 families to tear down 50 structures in five months time and ended up hauling out one million pounds of debris.