Tallahassee, FL -- Federal grants and loans exceeding $1.2 million have been approved and are in the process of being disbursed to victims of Tropical Storm Allison flooding that resulted in a major disaster declaration for five north Florida counties June 17.
"We hope this helps people in the painful process of recovering from the trauma of the flood," said Mike Butler, federal coordinating officer for the presidentially declared disaster. "While we cannot possibly restore things like they were, we hope this helps bring life closer to normal," Butler said. He urged those applicants who may have questions about their applications to call the FEMA Helpline, 1-800-525-0321; for persons with hearing or speech impairment who use electronic communicating devices, (TTY) 1-800-462-7585.
The initial funds are headed to some of more than 750 storm victims in Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties who have applied for assistance from losses sustained in the torrential rains and flooding of June 11-15. Public structures damaged in those and four more counties ? Bay, Calhoun, Holmes and Washington ? are being administered in a separate part of the disaster recovery process.
The current total through the close of business July 10 was $1,286,710, and it represented the following forms of help:
- Disaster Housing checks totaling $500,036 have been approved
for eligible applicants. Disaster Housing provides grant money to perform
minimal repair to primary residence in order to make the home habitable. If
the home is damaged beyond these guidelines, rental assistance may be
provided. Renters may also be eligible for rental assistance.
- A total of $527,374 in Individual and Family Grant checks has been
approved to assist victims. "The Individual and Family Grant Program is a
safety net designed to provide assistance for disaster related personal property
losses not met through other programs," said State Coordinating Officer
Craig Fugate. To be eligible for this grant, applicants must have been denied a
Small Business Administration (SBA) loan.
- Low interest SBA loans totaling $259,300 have been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration through July 10. This sum was approved for 24 loans, 20 of which were for homeowners or renters and the balance for businesses.
Storm victims residing in the five counties that were designated for individual assistance are reminded that the deadline for applying for assistance is August 16. Assistance is as close as a telephone. To apply, call 1-800-462-9029; persons with hearing or speech impairment (TTY) may call1-800-462-7585.
Those victims who have already paid for expenses due to the storms and floods, such as home repairs and temporary accommodations, may be eligible for reimbursement with paid receipts. Examples of eligible expenses include repairs to furnaces, electric panels and heating systems, or stays in hotels or motels until homes were livable.