Miami, FL -- As recovery operations for the torrential rains that swamped South Florida reached the one-month milestone, figures released by federal and state officials depict the scope and scale of devastation caused by the sudden, swift flooding that inundated area neighborhoods and littered roadways with stalled vehicles.
Since the presidential disaster declaration on October 4th, 48,653 South Floridians have registered for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) toll-free application hotline. Total approved federal funding to assist residents in the four declared counties exceeds $47.6 million.
A snapshot of current disaster figures:
- Emergency Housing Assistance: $26.3 million in approved funding, including $14.2 million for rental assistance and $12.1 million for emergency home repairs
- Individual and Family Grants: $13.7 million approved in grants to meet serious needs not covered by insurance or charitable organizations.
- Small Business Administration (SBA): $5.7 million approved for low-interest disaster-related loans to 484 eligible homeowners, renters and businesses.
- Public Assistance Reimbursements: $2.1 million for disaster-incurred costs including debris removal and emergency protective services, such as police and emergency workers overtime, as well as permanent infrastructure repairs.
- Housing Inspections: FEMA-contracted inspectors have completed 33,710 housing reviews (97%) of the total of 34,697 applications for disaster housing aid.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance: 114 claims have been approved for the federally-funded, state-administered, program which assists individuals unemployed as a direct result of the disaster.
Residents of Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties may continue to register for disaster assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free application hotline, 1-800-462-9029 (1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired), open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice.
Three disaster recovery centers (DRC) operating in Miami-Dade county will remain open through Friday, Nov 10th to assist applicants by providing program information on: housing assistance, rental resources, SBA loan applications, mitigation measures, and other disaster-related issues. More than 6,700 applicants have visited the centers since they began operations in early October. Beginning Nov. 11th the centers will function as SBA workshops.
After the DRC's close, applicants can stay in touch with FEMA throughout the recovery process by calling the toll-free Helpline, 1-800-525-0321(8 A.M. to 8 P.M. - Daily).
Teams of state and federal hazard mitigation specialists have completed initial assessments in hard-hit area neighborhoods to help devise permanent risk-reduction remedies eligible for potential funding through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Under the program, 15% of the total cost of a federally declared disaster is available through the grant program to fund risk reduction measures determined by the state in consultation with local officials.