SAFFORD – In addition to its many community-oriented services and events, the Safford Lions Club, in conjunction with Lions Club International, is offering a respite to those who suffered flooding and other damage due to the recent storms in Safford and Pima.
Safford Mayor Chris Gibbs announced to Gila Valley Central that the Lions Club will begin offering food vouchers to help ease the burden of fixing homes, especially those that had flood damage. The vouchers, which will be accepted at Thriftee Food & Drug in Safford and Bashas’ grocery store in Thatcher, come from a $10,000 emergency disaster relief grant from Lions Club International.
“The whole idea of it is I can’t give cash to people, but I can give them some help with a food voucher for like $100,” Gibbs said. “They can go to the store and use it for groceries. Then that $100 that they’re saving can go toward helping get a couch back in a living room.”
While the grant was specifically awarded due to the Safford storm, Gibbs said those who were effected by the Pima storm won’t be turned away.
“The Safford Lions Club serves the Gila Valley,” he said.
Those interested can pick up voucher applications at the Safford Clerk’s Office at City Hall at 717 W. Main St., Farmers Insurance at 610 W. Main St. and the Southeastern Arizona Community Unique Services (SEACUS) office at 624 W. Main St.
Gibbs encourages those interested to act quickly and put in their applications because there is a deadline of Dec. 1. While there is no income qualifier, funding is limited and the Lions Club will be examining applications to award vouchers based on need. To do that, most of the vouchers will not be awarded until after Dec. 1.
Gibbs said the club will look toward awarding most of the vouchers to victims of the flood waters because most of them likely did not have flood insurance to pay for cleaning up and replacing destroyed items.
“Most people’s roofs will be covered by some kind of insurance, but 98 percent of the people who have had flooding because of the storm won’t have flood insurance,” Gibbs said.
Late in the evening of Oct. 8, an unprecedented hail storm tore through the Safford area, causing havoc and destruction. Some areas saw as much as six inches of water in less than four hours and flooding occurred throughout the city. Pima was not effected by that storm, but it was similarly hit in a lesser fashion Nov. 4 when localized flooding occurred after roughly three inches of rain and some hail loaded up the streets in less than two hours.