Ladysmith, WI -- In the month since the severe storms and flooding that occurred from Labor Day through Friday, September 6, federal and state agencies have been working to assist the recovery of homeowners, renters and business owners in affected areas. As of the close of business (COB) Sunday, September 29, more than $623,000 had been approved to aid in that effort, disaster recovery officials said.
The following is a recap of the federal/state disaster assistance operation to date:
- In the less than three weeks since President Bush issued a major disaster
declaration for 19 counties in Wisconsin, field inspectors had completed
153 of 162 scheduled residential and business inspections.
- FEMA had approved $110,072 for 81 applicants to the Disaster Housing
Program for reimbursement of temporary accommodation costs for those
whose homes were severely damaged and the costs for repairs to make
residences safe, secure and sanitary.
- FEMA had approved a total of $92,857 in Individual and Family Grant
Program monies to cover necessary expenses not covered by insurance
or other assistance programs.
- FEMA phone line operators had taken calls from 479 Wisconsin residents
and business owners, 378 of whom applied for disaster assistance and
another 101 who called for information about programs and services available
or to check on the status of their applications.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) had issued 193 loan applications,
63 of which had been returned and 10 approved to receive a total of
$419,900 in low-interest disaster loans to cover the repair or replacement
of damaged real estate, personal property and business assets not fully
covered by insurance or other aid.
- A Disaster Recovery Center has been open on the Mount Senario College Campus in Ladysmith since September 18 and has been visited by 196 area residents requesting information on assistance available, the status of their applications, help with SBA loan applications and guidance on repair and rebuilding techniques to lessen damage in future severe weather events.
Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge anyone who suffered damage or loss to personal or commercial property in the storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred between September 2 and September 6 to apply for assistance by calling toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech or hearing impairment can call 1-800-462-7585. Applications for assistance under the September 10 disaster declaration will be taken through November 12, 2002.
After having applied for assistance, people may visit the Disaster Recovery Center in Ladysmith to meet face-to-face with recovery specialists. The Center will remain open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through October 4. Thereafter, people may call FEMA's toll-free number with questions or to make applications for assistance. Operators will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday until further notice.