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Deadline for Illinois residents to apply for flood assistance extended

The deadline to apply for help is now Dec. 22.

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Mo. — The clock is ticking for Metro East residents to get flood assistance after historic flooding this summer.

In about two weeks the application process will close.

In the first of two town halls on Tuesday, state, federal and county agencies want to make sure residents can at least apply for what they need.

An East St. Louis resident at the meeting in Caseyville, Sheila Crook, said she is struggling.

5 On Your Side’s Laura Barczewski asked Crook, “Is your house safe to live in right now?”

Crook responded, “It's leaning to one side. I need foundation work. So, I've been there 69 years. Where am I going? I'm almost 70. Where am I going? So, this is what I have to go through at the age of one foot on a banana peel and the other one in the grave.”

Crook said this summer’s flooding gutted her house on Cleveland Avenue and she needs more help.

“Roof damage...inside the water came through the basement...hot water tank I had to replace. It was just a mess. All my insulation is gone. So, I'm running up the electric bill up, the gas bill up and it's just a shack,” Crook said.

Greg Nimmo with Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) said they have received several questions about what they can cover.

“The money that comes from [Federal Emergency Management Agency] FEMA through disaster response and individual assistance is not to make people whole...but it's to get them on the road to rent assistance...get them on the road to repairs with their house...get them on the road to maybe replacing their car...that type of thing,” Nimmo said.

Tiana Suber with FEMA said it is important to apply for everything you possibly can including Small Business Administration (SBA) loans which you don’t have to have a business to qualify for.

“Once you finish that application, return it to SBA. You can come to FEMA. But if you do not, it halts the application process and I think people are missing out on the Other Needs Assistance because they are not finishing that SBA application,” Suber said.

The deadline to apply for help is now Dec. 22.

Along with disaster recovery centers, there is another town hall in East St. Louis on Dec. 8 at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church from 6 - 8 p.m.

More information can be found here.

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