BY LAURA GOLDBERG
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati's flood recovery plan is geared at taking city hall to water-damaged neighborhoods.
Under the city's cleanup plan unveiled Thursday, neighborhoods have been grouped into five areas. Each area will have a response team of city employees assigned to it. A service center will also be opened in each region. Details on the service centers are to be released today.
''We're making a real effort to make this as painless as possible for the people who have already been greatly inconvenienced and harmed by the flood,'' said City Manager John Shirey.
Teams will also work with Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co., the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the National Guard.
The areas are:
East End, Columbia Tusculum, Linwood.
West End, Riverside, Sedamsville, Lower Price Hill.
Safety is the first priority. As the water recedes, areas will be cleared of hazards before access is allowed. Crews must make streets passable and deal with debris hanging from trees and downed power lines.
When areas are opened, officials will ask people for identification that shows they belong there. Acceptable ID includes: driver's license, paycheck stubs and employee ID cards.
Teams of city inspectors - building and health - will comb buildings and homes.
Mr. Shirey said residents should make sure the city has done structural and utility inspections before moving back in.
Inspectors will provide lists of problems that need to be corrected and will issue permits - on site - for the work needing to be done. City council will have an emergency meeting at 11 a.m. today in council chambers to vote on an ordinance that would waive building permit fees on flood-damaged homes and businesses.
The city will spring into action as soon as water levels allow.