As Thursday’s afternoon’s soaking rainstorm reminded us, Hurricane Irma may be gone but her imprint remains on many roofs in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Friday morning, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, did its first blue-roof installation in Monroe County to a home on Haiti Lane in Ramrod Key.
Across Florida the Army Corps of Engineers is prepared to install an estimated 39,000 blue roofs, said Andrew Kornacki, public affairs chief. “This number is flexible, and the Army Corps of Engineers can adapt the mission to meet the needs.”
Residents in the three South Florida counties who want to patch their roofs can apply for a free plastic blue tarp under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Operation Blue Roof program. The engineers will place the tarp on your house at no cost to protect the home against further damage while you make arrangements for repairs. The plastic is a reinforced, water-proof material that is designed to last 30 days, but in previous installations in South Florida after Wilma and Katrina some tarps lasted about six months before fraying.
But there are limitations to the free service. To see if you qualify and for more information, click here.
Among the rules: The properties must be homeowners’ primary residences or permanently occupied rental properties that have less than 50 percent structural damage.
Not all roof types qualify for Operation Blue Roof. Standard shingled roofs are eligible to receive a temporary tarp. Flat, clay tiled, slate or metal roofs are not. One reason: On a flat roof, water tends to pool on top of the tarp and could leak inside the house. Installation may further damage the other roof types.
You have to register first to receive a tarp.
One location has been opened in Broward at the Walmart parking lot at 2500 W. Broward St.
Miami-Dade has two, at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Homestead at 1850 NE Eighth St., and at Clark Government Center at 111 NW First St. in downtown Miami.
For full list of all current locations across Florida, click here.
Tarps are not given out at these locations. Residents must fill out right-of-entry forms to allow a U.S. Army Corps subcontractor to check the roof’s damage and determine whether a tarp would help.
More FEMA activity: State Rep. Robert Asencio and FEMA representatives will help residents fill out applications for aid and answer questions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Kendall Village Center Civic Pavilion, 8625 SW 124th St., in front of Regal Cinema.