Council member Jerry McGrane took a minute at this week’s council meeting to update the council and the public about his own life as a flood victim and his own interactions with constituents and others who are flood victims, too.
McGrane is willing to say what some might not be willing to say.
McGrane, for instance, encouraged those still rattled by the upheaval caused by the June flood to take advantage of both financial counseling and mental health counseling.
“I’ve done both, and I think I’m gaining on the mental health part,” McGrane said.
“I really would like people to do that,” he continued. “It’s going to be a tough year. They (the counselors) know what they’re doing. It sure helps to go talk to them.”
McGrane’s house in the Oak Hill Neighborhood is at 1018 Second St. SE, and it faces the Cedar River across the city’s expansive Park & Ride lot. It got hammered pretty good.
McGrane this week also cautioned flood victims — in particular, the few thousand outside the 100-year flood plain who also saw extensive flood damage — to be careful about selling their houses for 10 to 20 cents on the dollar to the first person who shows up.
“Take time when it comes to selling your homes,” he said. “There are a lot of speculators out there. … It’s a sad deal to see people who are selling their houses for little or nothing.”
Finally, McGrane called on the city to figure out a way to mow lawns in the flood areas rather than pushing flood victims to get back into the neighborhoods and do the work themselves. McGrane noted that, like many others, he lost his mower as well as the shed in which the mower was in during the flood.
He suggested that the city hire youngsters to do the work.