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August 2015

posted Aug 1, 2015, 9:39 AM by Westbury Civic Club President

Much is going on this month and the details are in the Crier.
Aug 8th: Cool down with the Constable at Westbury Park 8 to 10am
Aug 13th is JUNK waste.
Aug 17th is a Mayoral candidate forum at Lovett Elementary
August 19th WCC meeting
August 24th - HISD back to School...watch for School zones even before that date

More information for those who flooded

posted Jun 18, 2015, 8:05 AM by Westbury Civic Club President

The Westbury Civic Club June meeting had a full house as residents impacted by the Memorial day floods were in attendance to hear special guest speakers. District K and the Mayor's office arranged speakers who could really answer questions. It was a pretty impressive showing of guests from our council office, the Dept of Neighborhoods, Solid Waste, Public Works, FEMA, SBA Loan Admin, and the National Flood Insurance Program.
City of Houston Solid Waste:
- Trash pickup to continue on regular schedule
- Currently working with private 3rd party contractors to ensure continuous service
- Urged residents to continue to call 311 for specific home pickup service problems
- Solid Waste will make three passes through the City picking up storm debris; they are still on the first pass 23 days after the storm which tells the tale of how much debris there is

FEMA and the SBA
- If you were flooded, you should apply to FEMA for assistance even if you had insurance
- Various methods to apply/register for assistance:
o 800-621-3362
o www.disasterassistance.gov
o m.fema.gov
o July 28th (60 days after the declaration of disaster) is the deadline to register
o Must apply for FEMA assistance in order to apply for SBA loan
o SBA Loan has low interest loans available to homeowners up to 200,000
o Renters and those whose vehicles were damaged by the flood can apply for assistance as well as those needing mental health referrals
o Up to 18 months of rental assistance
o 7-10 day turnaround for physical check. 12-24 hour turnaround for bank ACH.
o Businesses also qualify for assistance for some cases
o Maximum grant money to people who flooded is 32,900

City of Houston Public Works:
- Flood Plain Office – 832-394-8854
- special hours open at the floodplain office - see attached PDF
- If you are in the flood plain you have to go to this office to get the flood plain permit; cost under $150.00. If you only have residential repairs that do not require a trade permit such as electrical or plumbing you DO NOT need any additional permits.

It is my belief that the city really wants to work with everyone impacted by this flood. I know from my own personal experience with 2 floods and a fire how overwhelming being displaced feels and then the added stress of rebuilding and dealing with contractors. So please take advantage of the help being offered; you are not alone.

The WCC office and board will continue to monitor the progress and we are here to help you on the road to recovery. The next step is to mitigate flooding in the future.

To the owners of homes that flooded in Westbury

posted Jun 11, 2015, 2:58 PM by Westbury Civic Club President   [ updated Jun 11, 2015, 2:59 PM ]

To the owners of homes that flooded in Westbury,

Water damage is damage and being displaced from your home is being displaced, however, Westbury flooding was a bit different than the flooding along Brays Bayou.  With the exception of a few homes the water in Westbury homes was from 1 inch to 6 inches and very few actually had water reach the electrical plugs.  Despite that fact, the City of Houston sent out “substantial damage”  to many Westbury homeowners that are, according to my sources, sent when the water reaches 18 inches and therefore involves your electrical systems.  This has created more panic and uncertainty. This letter was sent out on a blanket basis. The City of Houston, capriciously and arbitrarily, decided to send this to Westbury addresses when in fact very few if any homes were substantially damaged.

We also have 3 categories of flooded homes along the Willow Waterhole Bayou from Braewick to Chimney Rock.  

1.)    Homes that have flooded multiple times in the past 5 years.

2.)    Homes that flooded for the first time

3.)    Homes that flooded for the first time since 1975

I am not an engineer.  I am an observer.  In June of 1975 many homes in this affected area flooded and substantial improvements were made on the Willow Waterhole Bayou  and the majority of the  homes that flooded in 1975 have not flooded again until now. 

There has been some flooding in 2011 and April of 2013 and that is why we began lobbying for new storm drains and for our drainage ditches to be dredged.  HCFCD is currently working on our ditches and the City has some of Westbury slated for a storm drainage project in the 2020 CIP plan. Hopefully both of these projects will mitigate the flooding that is occurring in Westbury in the 100 year flood plain. 

Much misinformation is floating around.  We have asked and expect someone from the Flood Management Office to attend our Westbury Civic Club meeting this Wednesday at 7PM.  

Two things come into play. The value of the improvement on your land (your house)  and the cost of repair to bring your home back to its pre damaged state. 

1.       Look at the 2015 value of your improvement on HCAD.  Your cost of repair must be less than 50% of that number.  We all know the HCAD valuations are bogus. When you get your NFIP Proof of loss the value of your home according to FEMA  will also be listed.  If those e numbers still are too low, an independent  real estate appraiser can help you there.  

2.       The cost to repair your house.  You can use the NFIP proof of loss. Or you can bring a notarized and signed estimate from your contractor and then the city will send an inspector to see if they agree with that number. 

Once both of these numbers confirm that you below the 50% threshold you will be issued a permit that says you are good to go.   Cost of the permits is under $500.00.  Since most Westbury homes just need flooring, a few feet of sheet rock, maybe some cabinets and some paint you should be well within the 50% rule.  

Repairing Flood Damage in the Floodplain _FAQ

posted Jun 4, 2015, 1:36 PM by Westbury Civic Club President

Attached is a document issued June 1, 2015 by the City to help navigate the repair process.  Don't be misled or taken advantage of by unscrupulous speculators trying to cash in on your misfortune. Check with the BBB before agreeing to hire a contractor.  Check with a reputable realtor (there are plenty of area specialists that advertise in the  Westbury Crier each month) before agreeing to sell your house to someone coming to your front door. 

Legal advice for flood victims

posted Jun 3, 2015, 7:29 AM by Westbury Civic Club President

The information provided below contains legal resources available to Houstonians that were affected by the recent flooding and severe weather.  Please share it accordingly when receiving any such calls.

 Sincerely,Shalette Mitchell,Chief of Staff,The Honorable Borris L. Miles

Houston Bar Association's LegalLine Program

What:              Volunteer attorneys from the Houston Bar Association will answer questions over the phone and provide legal advice for those in the Houston area affected by the recent floods and severe weather.  Houstonians are encouraged to call 713-759-1133 to speak to an attorney knowledgeable in insurance matters, property, landlord/tenant law, contracts, disaster assistance and other consumer issues.

Date:               Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Time:               12:00 PM-9:00 PM

 

State Bar of Texas Legal Hotline

 

General Material & Information

 

City and FEMA Ask All Residents Affected by the Flood to Register for Assistance

posted Jun 3, 2015, 5:57 AM by Westbury Civic Club President

Meeting tonight, Weds, June 3, and more information in this long post below.

City and FEMA Ask All Residents Affected by the Flood to Register for Assistance

Mayor Parker and representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and various City departments will be on hand to provide flood recovery information and answer questions about everything from filing a flood claim to debris collection and permitting.

Fondren Middle School
7 - 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 3, 2015
6333 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77096

In the coming days, with help from the City of Houston and the Texas Division of Emergency Management, FEMA will be announcing the location of a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), which will be a one-stop shop for affected residents to connect with FEMA staff, as well as City and Non-Governmental agencies. In addition, mobile recovery centers will be established to help ensure that all affected Houstonians have equal access to the assistance they need.

What you can do now?

1) Contact your insurance company

•If you haven't already done so, contact your insurance company (renters, homeowners and flood) and let them know about your level of damage. They may need to send an adjuster to document your damage.


2) Houston residents affected by the flood can register for assistance by:

•visiting on www.disasterassistance.gov
•on their mobile device at m.fema.gov
•or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY 1-800-462-7585) (Video Relay Service [VRS] 1-800-621-3362. These numbers will operate from 6am - 9pm Central time until further notice.


If you need assistance in a language other than English, you may call FEMA and a translator will be put on the line to assist you.

When registering for assistance, you can expect to provide the following:

•Social Security number
•Address of the damaged home or apartment
•Description of the damage
•Information about insurance coverage
•A current contact telephone number
•An address where they can get mail
•Proof of residency, such as a utility bill, rent receipts or mortgage payment record
•Bank account and routing numbers if they want direct deposit of any financial assistance.


Once you register, a FEMA representative will call you to schedule a time for them to do a formal assessment of your damage. Make sure you provide a reliable, working telephone number when you register, as well as have all of your damage documentation available when FEMA representatives make their assessment.

3)Document your damage

•Make sure you have photos, and or video, of the damage your home or business sustained so that FEMA representatives will be able to provide you with the best financial assistance possible.


Individuals with Undocumented Immigrant Status

FEMA assistance is only available to U.S. Citizens or lawful residents of the United States. Individuals who are undocumented may make a claim on behalf of their child if that child is a U.S. Citizen or lawful resident.

If nobody in the family qualifies, residents are asked to call 2-1-1 to find out information about non-profit agencies who may be able to provide assistance.

What Can I Expect In the Coming Days?

In the coming days, FEMA will be announcing the location of the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) as well as the dates, times and locations of town hall meetings to discuss any issues people may have with the FEMA recovery process.

Where can I get information?

Houston residents can visit houstontx.gov/recovery for information and resources that will help them begin the process of recovery. This website will have information from government as well as trusted non-profit partners.

Residents can also register for CitizensNet at houstontx.gov/citizensnet to receive information about disaster assistance available in their neighborhoods.

Keeping Yourself Safe

FEMA, State or City officials will never ask you for your social security number or bank account information in person or by phone (unless you have called FEMA to register for assistance). Never give out personal information to anyone who claims to represent the City, State or FEMA in person, over email, or over the phone.

Also, all FEMA and City disaster services are provided free of charge, so you should never be asked to pay anything to complete applications or receive assistance from the government.


Houston Flood 2015 Resources:

Public:
First stop – Report the issue:
• 911- If there is a crime happening on your property, call this number first!
• 411 – general information
• 311 – city services (potholes, utilities, sidewalks, traffic lights, AND ALL DAMAGES, etc.) Download the Houston 311 app for ease of use. The city uses this information for funding and servicing purposes. (713-837-0311)
• 211 – database of social services; works with United way (211texas.org; 713-957-4357)
• Non-Emergency HPD - NON-EMERGENCY HPD 7138843131
• Crisis Hotline: 713-468-5463
• Register with FEMA at 800-621-3362 or online at www.disasterassistance.com; it doesn’t matter of qualifications, all must register for funding purposes.


Temporary Housing Information and Resource:
• City of Houston Housing and Neighborhoods Department, 832-394-6282
• Red Cross - 877-500-8645

Volunteer:
The city did select a portal that all approved volunteers in the area are able to share locations where needs need to be met and where volunteers are not yet on the ground. The city uses this information to make sure they have the support in place for a disaster as it unravels from volunteer efforts.

If you want to volunteer, please go to one of these already approved volunteer agencies:
o Volunteerhouston.org
o Nechama.org
o TACCOR - cgreenslate@txcumc.org

Other Resources:
For contractors and other information, most organizations cannot be liable for recommendations. The BBB or Angie’s List will be a great resource to find credible information.

Help for Flooded residents

posted Jun 1, 2015, 12:07 PM by Westbury Civic Club President

Need Help? Want to Help?

If you NEED assistance or want to HELP those affected by the May flooding event, try using this online site - which is being used by some local religious and charitable organizations and coalitions of people who want to help (including Westbury Methodist, Westbury Baptist, Jewish Disaster Response- NECHAMA, etc)
https://houstonflood.recovers.org/

Historic flooding hits homes near the Willow Waterhole Bayou and Braewick ditch

posted May 31, 2015, 12:34 PM by Westbury Civic Club President   [ updated Jun 1, 2015, 6:39 AM ]

RELIEF INFORMATION FROM FEMA AT ERJCC:


Tonight (Monday, June 1st) at 7:00 p.m., there will be a town hall meeting where representatives from FEMA will share information regarding how to access the FEMA resources . Immediately following the meeting, representatives and volunteers will be available to assist Houston residents in need. The ERJCC is located at 5601 South Braeswood. Please pass the word as those who need it most may not be connected to social media.


:Report flooding to the City of Houston

The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management is asking any residents who experienced flooding inside their home or business to report it to the Houston 311 Help & Information Line.  

The City of Houston and regional response agencies are currently trying to assess the level of structural damage sustained as a result of flooding.

FEMA has declared disaster area for Harris County

Individuals who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (local time) seven days a week.  You will need:

·     Social Security number

·     Current and pre-disaster address

·     Telephone number where you can be contacted

·     Insurance information

·     Total household annual income

·     Routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly into your bank account).

·     Description of your losses that were caused by the disaster.

The link below provides a helpful spreadsheet for documenting contents losses:

http://www.uphelp.org/pubs/home-inventory-and-contents-claim-tips

 Help available for flood victims

Dealing with a flooded home can be overwhelming, some companies are offering free services for Houston area victims

If you are 60 or older or know a neighbor who is and feel they may be overwhelmed & needing additional assistance, please contact Sheltering Arms.  If you have concerns about an elderly neighbor who was affected by the flood, here is another resource. From Meggin Lorino - Director, Senior Activity & Education Services at Sheltering Arms: If any of our neighbors are 60 and older and seeming overwhelmed by the recent flood please encourage them to call Sheltering Arms 713.685.6577

-The Federation is collecting monetary donations at www.houstonjewish.org/houstonflood 


-JFS is recruiting volunteers who can assist with physical labor at jfsvolunteer@gmail.com

-If you can volunteer: jfsvolunteer@gmail.com


-JFS is collecting gift cards for $50, $100, $200 or $500 good at groceries, pharmacies, big box stores like Target, Walmart, Lowes or Home Depot. Drop off at Jewish Family Service at 4131 S. Braeswood Blvd., Houston, TX 77025. M-Th, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., F, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.


-The following items are needed: bottled water, work gloves, plastic storage bins, heavy trash bags, heavy duty razor blades to rip out carpet, cleaning supplies including old towels. Please drop off at the ERJCC at 5601 S. Braeswood Blvd, Houston, 77096.

 

-From Westbury Civic Club.: If you are willing/able to provide supplies or manpower  or if you NEED assistance please email  WestburyStephanie@gmail.com  Errands needed: packing belongings, doing laundry, running errands while people deal with contractors. Supplies needed: boxes, cleaning supplies, gloves, bug spray, coolers, clothing, towels, water, ice, non-perishables, fans

 

Air BNB is making it easy for those forced out of their homes to connect with others who are willing to open their homes to flood victims. They are offering all services free for flood victims through June 9. Visit their website at https://www.airbnb.com/
U-Haul is offering flood victims 30 days of free storage at the following locations:

U-Haul Company of Gulf Coast Texas
1617 San Jacinto
Houston, TX 77002
(800) 392-3181
U-Haul Company of East Houston
11202 Antoine Drive
Houston, TX 77066
(877) 755-6534

U-Haul Company of West Houston
8518 Highway 6 South
Houston, TX 77083
(800) 486-2382

U-Haul Storage Centers of Houston
2415 South Dairy Ashford Road
Houston, TX 77077
(281) 531-4022

In addition to the 30-days-free self-storage assistance being offered, people who need boxes can take advantage of the U-Haul Take a Box, Leave a Box Program. The program enables customers to return their reusable boxes and allows others to take them as needed – FREE. U-Haul encourages anyone who has any type of reusable box to drop it off at the nearest U-Haul location and allow another family to reuse the box, free of charge, instead of throwing the reusable box into the recycling bin.

The P&C Law Firm is offering free legal assistance to individuals affected by the storm. Contact Stacie Carr at 832-413-4024 for more information.

The Houston Bar Association is offering free legal advice on their LegalLine program from noon until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3. Flood victims can call 713-759-11-33 with questions.

Flood Debris Collection begins

The City is coming through to pick up all of the debris placed out for collection. Debris will be picked up if it is between the sidewalk and the street .
The trucks cannot get down a street that has vehicles parked on both sides. Please do your best to ask construction workers, professional assistance, and friends to park in your driveway leaving the streets as clear as possible allowing these huge trucks in. Please be patient and know that the trucks are on the way. Normal trash/recycling pick up will resume for the neighborhood on Thursday .

Assistance for uninsured property owners

The National Association of Christian Churches is an organization that is will help those that are uninsured and suffered damages and loss due to flooding.. 

If you are in need of assistance and do not have flood insurance, please contact:

Angelica Ortega
NACC Disaster Services
PO Box 841801
Houston, Texas 77284

Office (832)626-7111 ext. 101
Fax (832)649-3480

City Water is Safe to drink!

The City of Houston's potable  water system was not affected by the recent flooding event. The water is safe to drink. The facility in question, the Meyerland groundwater plant located at 9020 S Rice Ave. was surrounded by flooded streets after the heavy rain event on May 25th. However, after the flood water receded, a thorough inspection of the plant on May 26th showed no evidence of any damage to the plant and it is fully functional.

Despite significant flooding throughout the City of Houston, the City of Houston water treatment plants are fully operational, and water quality within the City owned and operated public systems has not been affected.


Important Phone Numbers:

Precinct 5 Constables:
281.463.6666
http://www.constablepct5.com

Houston Police Department: 
9-1-1 – Emergencies
713.884.3131 – Non Emergencies
http://www.houstonpolice.org/go/doc/2133/289249/

City of Houston:
3-1-1 or download the “Houston 3-1-1” app or www.houston311.org

CenterPoint:    

Gas: 713.659.2111
Electric: 713.207.2222
Website: www.centerpointenergy.com

Reliant:
713.537.3000
www.reliant.com

TXU:
800.818.6132   
www.txu.com

AT&T Residential Service:
1.800.288.2020   
http://www.att.com

Comcast:
1.800.934.6489
http://www.comcast.com

Find Your Towed Car:
http://findmytowedcar.com/tvrmscitizen/mainpage.aspx

Red Cross:
713.526.8300 for more information:
http://www.redcross.org/tx/houston
http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4540081_repairingFloodedHome.pdf

Houston Food Bank:
832.369.9390
http://www.houstonfoodbank.org

FloodSmart.gov
www.Floodsmart.gov
1.888.379.9531

County Sherriff Adrian Garcia:
http://action.adriangarcia.com/page/content/flood-resources/

Thanks to MCIA for making much of this information available. 

May 9, 2015 Upcoming White Elephant Sale

posted Mar 3, 2015, 12:07 PM by Westbury Civic Club President

The Spring White Elephant Sale will be on Saturday, May 9, from 8AM to Noon at Westbury United Methodist Church.  The rain date is May 16.

 

Booth space will go on sale at 8AM on Wednesday, April 1, for individual
Westbury residents ONLY*. 
The WCC office will be open early at 8AM on April 1 only and close at 2PM.   The office will also be open from 5-7PM on April 1 for booth space purchase.  Booths may be purchased during normal office hours of 9:30AM to 2:30PM starting on April 2.

 

You must be a paid current member of the Westbury Civic Club to purchase a booth.  This means you must have paid your 2015 WCC membership dues of $40.  If you have not paid your 2015 dues, you may do so at the same time that you purchase your booth space.  The booth price for individual
Westbury residents will be $20-$25.

 

Booths will go on sale to non-residents and groups/non-profit organizations on April 27 if space permits on a first come, first serve basis. The booth price for non-residents and groups is $60-65. 

 

The Westbury White Elephant Sale allows residents the opportunity to sell unwanted household items at a highly visible central location with security provided.  The WCC provides location, security, bathrooms and publicity for the sale.  The Civic Club does NOT provide tables, chairs or shade. 
Garage, Estate, yard, moving sales, etc. are not permitted at Westbury residences. 

 

So why not have fun, make money, be safe and be a good neighbor.                                                               Plan on having a booth at the Westbury White Elephant Sale!

 

*Due to limited space and increased interest by homeowners, only individual homeowners may purchase booth space in September.  Non-residents and ALL non-profit organizations and groups (including Westbury resident run) must wait until April 27. Violators of this policy may not be allowed to participate in the current and/or future White Elephant Sales.  All non-profit organizations and groups must register under their organization name.  No individual may purchase a booth for a group or organization unless doing so under that organization’s name.

 

 

February11, Weds at 6:30PM at the Platou Community Center

posted Feb 5, 2015, 5:44 PM by Westbury Civic Club President

Wednesday, February 11 at 630PM at the Platou Community Center, 11655 Chimney Rock, District K and Public Works will be holding a public meeting to answer any questions residents have about the ongoing Wastewater(Sewer) line replacement project. Lines are being replaced as per the attached map in parts of Westbury 4, Westbury South and Westbury 3 (Cartagena).

District K likes to host these ... View more meetings when there is work so that residents will know the scope of the project, the completion date, backyard access, etc. If you live on the affected streets you are encouraged to attend.

Last CIP meeting we made a plea about our issues with sewage problems and all of Westbury's wastewater lines were scheduled to be evaluated. It is good to see this work being done.

Homeowners should have notified either by mail or door hangers. 

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