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Biden issues disaster declaration for area flooding, opens access to FEMA assistance

St. Louisans affected by the recent severe storms and flooding can now get help from the federal government through FEMA’s Individual Assistance program, after President Joe Biden granted Gov. Mike Parson’s request for a federal disaster declaration. 

“July’s historic rainfall and floods devastated neighborhoods across our city,” Mayor Tishaura Jones said in a statement. “While surveying damage in Ellendale, Kingsway West and Walnut Park, I heard from dozens of St. Louisans whose lives had been upended by severe flooding. As hundreds of families continue to fill the region’s Multi-Agency Resource Centers, it’s clear there is an ongoing need for help that federal resources will help us address.”

Jones thanked Biden, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., and other state, local and community partners.

“The city is ready to work with FEMA to put St. Louis on the path to a full and equitable recovery,” she stated.

Individuals who sustained damage or losses due to the flooding between July 25 and July 28, 2022, may now apply for FEMA disaster assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov [www.disasterassistance.gov] or by calling FEMA’s toll-free application line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time, seven days a week. Those affected by the flooding are encouraged to document losses, including photographing damage and retaining receipts. The more quickly people register with FEMA, the sooner they may be able to receive assistance.

The deadline for most individual assistance programs is 60 days following the president’s declaration.

Disaster assistance to eligible individuals generally falls into the following categories:

Housing Assistance may be available for up to 18 months for displaced persons whose homes were heavily damaged or destroyed. Funding also can be provided for housing repairs and replacement of damaged items.

Disaster Grants, which are available to help meet other serious disaster related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance and other aid programs. These may include replacement of personal property, and transportation, medical, dental, and funeral expenses.

Low-Interest Disaster Loans are available after a disaster for homeowners and renters from the U.S. Small Business Administration to cover uninsured property losses. Loans may be available for repair or replacement of homes, automobiles, clothing, or other damaged personal property. SBA loans are also available to businesses for property loss and economic injury. Businesses can visit sba.gov [sba.gov] or call 1-800-569-2955.

Other disaster aid programs include crisis counseling, disaster-related unemployment assistance, legal aid and assistance with income tax, Social Security and veterans’ benefits.

The federal disaster declaration also makes available FEMA’s Public Assistance program, which allows local governments and qualifying nonprofit agencies to seek federal assistance for reimbursement of emergency response and recovery costs, including repair and replacement costs for damaged roads, bridges and other public infrastructure.

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) will continue to hold Multi-Agency Resource Center events this week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, at Friendly Temple Church, 5515 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. The MARCs will provide service to a maximum of 300 households. If the MARC reaches capacity at 300 on Tuesday or Wednesday, reservations will be taken for the next day. The reservations can be made only once capacity has been reached. Attendees are asked to bring proof of address. 

Visit stlouis-mo.gov/flood for additional resources and information about disaster recovery in our region.  

Staff

MetroSTL.com is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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