The Marble Falls Rotary Club, along with generous donations from additional rotary clubs, recently awarded $17,427 to the Burnet County Flood Victim Relief Fund to assist with long-term relief efforts created in response to the October 2018 flooding in Burnet and Llano counties. Pictured from left to right are: (back row) Burnet Rotary Club Vice President, Paul Farmer, Marble Falls Rotary Club President, Stan Smith, Marble Falls Daybreak Rotary Club President, Neal Kennedy, and Marble Falls Rotary Club Youth Services Chair, Rev. Ellen Ely.
While FEMA is still waiting for many jurisdictions to submit their assessments for a definitive damage total, one doesn’t have to look far to see the staggering extent of local destruction left behind. The Marble Falls Rotary Club presented this gift to remind people this is a long-term recovery project and to encourage them to make a donation of their own. Just because the water has subsided does not mean the need has. It is still very much a real crisis.  
 
“Flood insurance covers virtually nothing, and people are still waiting in limbo, not having received a penny of the insurance money,” said Neal Kennedy. Rebuilding may not even be an option for some, as new rules have made it too costly to rebuild. For others, who have been through this before, the risk to start again may just be too great. If the cost to rebuild is more than 50% of a home’s value, the owner must comply with the new FEMA regulations. “Some of these home owners are at an age where they are not looking to build a retirement home that is 3-stories tall,” said Kennedy.
 
According to Donna Klaeger, Sr. VP of Community Resources at the Burnet County CRC, “even after insurance and FEMA flood assistance has gone through, people are still going to have needs. Right now, we have about $56,000 in the fund, but money could keep coming in for the next 10 years. This account will remain open until it is no longer needed, so people can donate here, get a tax donation, and be able to help somebody first hand.”
 
The Burnet County Flood Victim Relief Fund was created with the Highland Lakes Legacy Fund, a family of funds with the Austin Community Foundation, to assist individuals who experienced loss from the recent flooding throughout Burnet County. Established in accordance with Burnet County’s Emergency Management Plan, monies from this fund will be used to aid the long-term recovery efforts to assist individuals in returning to their pre-flood condition and will be available to flood victims who have registered and have verification and documentation to ensure qualified distribution based on need. “The collective efforts have now shifted from immediate needs into long-term recovery mode. We are working in-step with the Highland Lakes Crisis Network to ensure the resources available are utilized to best support all of our neighbors impacted by the flood,” said Kevin Naumann, Operations Director for Marble Falls Area EMS. To contribute to the Burnet County Flood Victim Relief Fund mail or bring your check payable to the Burnet County Flood Victim Relief Fund, c/o The Community Resource Center, 1016 Broadway, Marble Falls, TX 78654 or online at https://burnetfloodrelief.kimbia.com/donate . Donations to this fund are tax deductible. Distribution to affected parties is pending the current FEMA determination.