WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal disaster aid was made available today for flood victims in Missouri's Madison County under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Clinton, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the President's action authorizes the use of federal funds to help meet the recovery needs of county residents and business owners who sustained damage from severe storms and flooding that hit the area starting April 3. Witt designated the county eligible for the aid immediately after declaration.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, minor home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Additionally, Witt said the declaration makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated other counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Curtis D. Musgrave of FEMA was named by Witt to serve as the federal coordinating officer for the recovery. Musgrave said affected residents and business owners in Madison County can begin the disaster application process by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be available starting Wednesday, April 21, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CT) seven days a week until further notice.