OTTAWA, Ill. -- Almost a month has passed since tornadoes caused a path of destruction through North Central Illinois. Since President Bush issued a disaster declaration on April 23, more than $2.4 million has been approved to assist in the recovery of those affected by last month's devastating storms.
A total of $357,683 in grants and $2,046,100 in low-interest loans have been approved for 113 of the 622 Illinois residents who have applied for disaster assistance, according to figures released today by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). To avoid a duplication of benefits, some FEMA applications cannot be completed until the applicant provides a final insurance settlement to determine eligible underinsured or uninsured losses.
Those who suffered damages or loss from the tornadoes and severe storms that occurred April 20-23 can still apply for assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech or hearing impairment can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline to call and apply for assistance is June 22.
Local, state and federal recovery officials and voluntary organizations have combined efforts to assist victims of the severe weather in putting their lives back together. This is a summary of recovery activities as of close of business May 18:
- 622 individuals from the declared counties had called to apply for assistance
- 471 people had visited the Disaster Recovery Centers in Granville, Joliet and Utica
- 92 temporary rental assistance grants were approved, totaling $155,412
- 20 home repair grants were approved, totaling $43,125
- 1 home replacement grant approved for $10,200
- 54 Other Needs Assistance grants were approved, totaling $148, 945 - may include grants for medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation and other eligible expenses
- 59 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans were approved, totaling $2,046,100 - 49 home loans for $1,924,600 and 10 business loans for $121,500
- 586 SBA disaster loan applications were issued: 464 to homeowners and 122 to business owners
A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is still available in Utica at the Waltham Elementary School, 248 West Canal Street, and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and closed on Sundays. After calling to apply, people can visit the center to get disaster assistance information, receive help in completing their SBA loan applications or address immediate unmet needs. Anyone, even those who did not suffer any damages, may visit the center to talk with mitigation specialists and receive information on low-cost ways to reduce future disaster damages.
Tomorrow is the last day to visit the SBA Workshop in Joliet at Bicentennial Park, 201 West Jefferson. The Workshop will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Thursday, May 20. SBA loan officers are available to help those who would like assistance with filling out their loan packet and a FEMA representative will also be available to answer questions about disaster recovery assistance.
Once this SBA Workshops closes, disaster assistance is still available at the Utica DRC or by a toll-free call to the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585.
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