ST LOUIS, Mo. -- Federal, state, local and voluntary agencies are coordinating disaster assistance to five Missouri counties following the severe storms and flooding in storm systems that hit throughout the state from April 3-14, 1999.
- On April 20, President Clinton declared a major disaster for Missouri, prompting the release of federal funds to help people recover from the severe storms and flooding April 3-14, 1999. Madison County residents, business owners, farmers and ranchers thus became eligible for a variety of state and federal disaster assistance programs. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) are working with local governments and voluntary agencies to bring assistance to those affected by the storms in identified areas in the state.
Response and recovery efforts as of May 7 are:
- On May 5, four more storm-damaged Missouri counties - Andrew, Iron, Macon and Osage, became eligible for similar assistance. This brings to five the number of counties designated for disaster assistance to individuals and businesses. Madison County was the first to be designated for assistance.
- More than $1 million in grants and loans has been approved for disaster victims in the five affected Missouri counties. This includes:
- $ 328,233 in Disaster Housing checks to assist eligible victims with the costs of short-term rental needs, making minimal repairs to their homes or finding another place to live for those whose homes are heavily damaged.
- $374,000 in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans to homeowners and renters to repair or replace uninsured real and/or personal property.
- $ 384,877 in Individual and Family Grants to meet serious disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs. The state of Missouri administers this program.
- A total of 341 residents and business owners throughout the five designated counties had applied for disaster assistance on the FEMA toll-free registration line.
- The first step in applying for disaster assistance is by calling the FEMA registration number 1-800-462-9029. Persons with hearing-or speech-impairments may call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585.
- Hours of the toll-free registration numbers changed this week. They are now open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- A disaster information Helpline has been opened by FEMA to provide information on state and federal disaster assistance programs and to help applicants with the status of their requests. The toll-free Helpline number is 1-800-525-0321. Hearing- or speech-impaired persons may call 1-800-462-7585. Calling hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Community Relations members currently are visiting certain disaster applicants in Madison County as part of a program called "Elderly Initiative." The purpose of the program is to make sure that each registered disaster victim older than 60 is personally visited and aware of disaster programs and the assistance process. There are about 80 such applicants in the county and to date, nearly 50 have been contacted.
- FEMA staff will be on hand in Fredericktown this weekend at the Azalea Festival to answer questions and distribute critical disaster recovery information. Updates on the progress of the disaster recovery will be given throughout the weekend.
- A Disaster Recovery Center, which opened in Fredericktow...