Washington, DC -- Federal disaster funds were made available today for Michigan to help families and businesses in Wayne County recover from the effects of heavy rains that drenched the area early last month.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said President Clinton authorized the assistance under a major disaster declaration issued this afternoon because of damage to private property from severe storms and flooding that occurred September 10-11. Witt designated the county eligible for the aid immediately after the 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 named Suzanne Schmitt of FEMA to serve as the federal coordinating officer for the recovery.
Schmitt said affected residents and business owners in Wayne 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, October 18, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET) seven days a week until further notice.