Its been a month now since the floods struck homes along the Santa Clara River. The latest reports indicated that there were about $170 million in losses. There was a federal disaster declaration for the area, as well as a $25 million aid package approved by the Utah state legislature. These government aid packages will benefit damages to public infrastructure, such as: roads, bridges, water and sewer lines, etc. The $25 million from the state will be very helpful, because it will help toward the 25% matching funds that local governments must provide in order to receive federal assistance.
There were also about 50 homes either carried away by the floods, or damaged to the point that they are no longer habitable. Of these homeowners suffering losses, very few had flood insurance. Damage to private property was not widespread enough to trigger federal assistance. For help, these people will need to rely on charity.
To that end an new IRS-approved charitable organization (Virgin River Santa Clara River Flood Relief, Inc) has been organized in St. George. All of the start-up costs of this organization have been donated. They are producing a book, and DVD depicting the devestation of the floods, as well as the stories of how the community came together to help one another. All of the proceeds of this book/dvd will go toward helping those who lost their homes in the floods. This organization is also working other angles to help bring relief to homeowners. These actions include, encouraging financial institutions to either forgive, or reduce the amount of debt owed on homes that no longer exist. Also they are seeking donations of land for building lots, building materials, and donations of labor from local contractors.
Purchasing a copy of the Book/DVD gives those of us who live far away an opportunity to help, with the guarentee that all proceeds will go directly to the victims.
You can make a donation by going here. I will also make a link to this charity on the left sidebar.
For more information concerning the nature of the flooding, I suggest you read this first-hand account of what happend in the floods of Santa Clara.