COLUMBUS, Ohio – More than $21 million in state and federal assistance has been approved for individuals and business owners who suffered damage in Ohio’s spring flooding, disaster recovery officials said today. An additional $12.1 million in federal assistance for infrastructure is expected to be provided.
“With an application deadline of August 2, we are hopeful that nearly every individual who may be eligible for assistance has applied,” said Dale W. Shipley, state coordinating officer for the recovery and executive director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA).
People with eligible damages in the following Ohio counties may apply: Athens, Carroll, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Geauga, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Noble, Perry, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit and Tuscarawas.
To date, 34,530 people have registered for assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free numbers 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairment. Both lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
At the close of business Wednesday, 9,802 housing assistance grants totaling $12,318,977 have been approved.
Another 7,160 grants totaling $4,637,366 have been approved to meet other serious disaster-related needs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 345 low-interest disaster loans totaling $4,200,000.
FEMA has completed 33,139 inspections of homes to verify damages where flood and storm damage was reported.
The SBA has issued 15,560 loan applications to homeowners, renters and business owners. Officials urge applicants to complete their applications as soon as possible, even if they have not yet received a final settlement from their insurance company. If the loan application is not returned it may delay or prevent receiving other forms of disaster assistance.
In addition to the loans and grants for individuals and business owners, FEMA expects to provide local governments an additional $12.1 million to repair infrastructure damage caused by the storms and flooding. This brings the total federal assistance to more than $33 million.
The June 3 disaster declaration by President Bush, with later amendments, made 17 counties eligible for the public assistance program to help pay for infrastructure losses. To date, 192 requests for public assistance have been received for a total of $17,283,390. The federal share of the assistance, 75 percent, is estimated at $12,122,200. The remaining 25 percent cost will be shared by state and local agencies.
“By helping local and state governments, federal disaster assistance has an impact on every individual in those communities,” said Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer with the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In disaster-designated counties, the program provides funds to eligible municipalities, public agencies and private non-profit organizations that provide critical governmental type services for approved costs of debris removal, emergency protective measures, road repairs, repair of water control facilities and restoration of buildings, utilities, and recreational facilities. Counties eligible for public assistance are Athens, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jefferson, Knox, Medina, Noble, Perry, Portage, Summit and Tuscarawas.
The Ohio EMA coordinates State assistance and resources during an emergency and prepares the state for all hazards through planning, training, exercises and funding activities at the state and local level. This includes providing assistance to individuals and administering state and federal assistance to individuals and governmental entities recovering from disaster-related damage and ...