ST LOUIS, Mo. -- Nearly $250,000 in federal disaster assistance grants already have been approved for residents of Madison County (Missouri) affected by early April severe storms and flooding.
The money comes just one week after President Clinton declared Missouri a major disaster area, enabling residents and business owners in Madison County to apply for state and federal help to recover from storm damages.
The grants have been approved for county residents who qualify for help with repairs that will make their houses livable. In other cases, the grants can be used for rental assistance to residents throughout the county who need help paying for another place to live. Rental assistance is paid in cases where the house is significantly damaged and residents cannot return to that home.
"We are working to get help to qualified applicants as quickly as possible," said Curt Musgrave, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "We are pleased we could get these first checks out so quickly."
Federal disaster housing programs also can provide grant money to residents who need help paying for another place to live temporarily while repairs to their house are being made.
State Emergency Management Agency Director Jerry Uhlmann noted that anyone who sustained storm damages from April 3-14 should call to register for assistance as quickly as possible.
"The sooner a resident or business owner calls, the sooner we can determine if there is some assistance that we can provide," Uhlmann said.
To register for state and federal disaster assistance, Madison County residents and business owners can call 1-800-462-9029. Those who are hearing- or speech-impaired can call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The calls are free and can be made from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Federal Disaster Assistance Tops $250,000
Persons who live outside of the Madison County area who sustained damages from April 3-14 severe storms and floods can call 1-800-462-9029 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585) to report those damages.
A federal/state Disaster Recovery Center has been opened in Fredericktown to individually help residents or business owners who may have additional questions about their cases. Persons who need help calling to apply for assistance also can go to the center for help in registering. The center is located in the National Guard Armory, 104 Armory St., and is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Representatives from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Missouri Department of Social Services and several other state and federal agencies are located at the center to provide help with SBA loan applications and ways to protect residential and business property from future storm damages.