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Federal disaster declaration approved for July flooding in St. Louis area

The move makes FEMA's individual assistance program available to eligible residents of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County.

ST. LOUIS — The flooding that struck the St. Louis area from July 25 to 28 has officially been approved as a major disaster, giving flooding victims access to federal funds to help with damage.

President Joe Biden approved a request from Missouri Governor Mike Parson to declare the flooding a major disaster. The move makes FEMA's individual assistance program available to eligible residents of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County.

RELATED: Gov. Parson requests federal disaster declaration in response to flash flooding

The programs can help flooding victims with temporary housing, housing repairs, replacement of lost or damaged belongings and vehicles as well as other qualifying expenses.

To apply, go to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call FEMA’s toll-free application line at 1-800-621-3362 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time, seven days a week.

To speed up the process of getting help, flooding victims are encouraged to document damage and save related receipts. The sooner victims apply for FEMA aid, the sooner they may receive assistance.

According to the press release, the deadline for most individual assistance programs is 60 days following the President’s major disaster declaration. That would be Friday, October 7. 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 residences were heavily damaged or destroyed. Funding also can be provided for housing repairs and replacement of damaged items to make homes habitable.
  • 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 (SBA) 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 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.

A press release from the governor's office said more than 750 homes and more than 130 businesses in the area had sustained major damage due to recent flooding. A joint assessment by federal and state emergency management agencies also found that more than $35 million in damage to uninsured infrastructure was damaged by flooding.

Another way to get help with flood-related costs is to attend a Multi-Agency Resource Center, or MARC, through the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross announced three additional dates for the MARCs in the St. Louis area after overwhelming demand last week.

The Multi-Agency Resource Centers, or MARCs, will be held at Friendly Temple on Martin Luther King Drive on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The MARCs will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and masks are required by the church where the event is being held.

The events will be one-stop shops for flooding victims to apply for assistance after flash flooding in the area over the last two weeks. The event is open to flooding victims from both Missouri and Illinois.

RELATED: Red Cross announces 3 additional multi-agency resource center dates for flooding victims

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