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Homeowners urged to document damages before starting cleanup

BEMIDJI - The Beltrami County Sheriff's Department is reminding homeowners to document damages before starting the clean up process.

Sheriff Phil Hodapp said the city and county are working to assess the damage but homeowners need to do the same for themselves.

"We're asking the public that before they start the clean up process to document with photographs the damage at their homes for their insurance companies," Hodapp said. "If we were to receive FEMA assistance, they would also need strong documentation for that."

The city and county are working to assess the cost of damages before moving forward, Hodapp said.

Hodapp said the department was also asking the public to stay safe during the clean up process.

"Things can be very dangerous, especially in areas with power lines that are down," Hodapp said. "Once those power lines are reenergized, it could energize a power line that's on the ground or hanging in the trees."

As the clean up process begins, Hodapp also warned that people need to watch their health too.

"We want to make sure everyone's personal health stays safe," Hodapp said. "We don't want anyone to go down from extreme heat or overexertion. We'd like to prevent any heart attacks from happening during the clean up."