ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. – St. Clair County residents in Illinois affected by July’s historic flooding can now receive assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

After the historic flooding, more than 700 homes were damaged beyond repair in St. Clair County, Illinois. Families and individuals can apply for emergency assistance starting Tuesday.

On July 25, flooding started to inundate parts of the area. Emergency evacuations were announced in some regions as water surged through houses, streets, businesses, and apartments.

Sherran Riley recalled how her basement flooded.

“It was a nightmare for real. Looking down at all that water, and everything’s underwater, it was a nightmare,” she said. “You know, some things you just don’t even want to deal with.”

Riley is still dealing with the aftermath of the flooding.

“The water heater was out, the furnace is out, so I haven’t gotten that fixed yet,” she said. “So, it’s just things that you just do it on your own, because it didn’t seem like we were going to get any help.”

On Monday, help finally arrived.

“Today, President Biden signed the disaster declaration, which now allows for relief to come to the citizens of St. Clair County,” said Mark Kern, County Board Chairman.

A representative from FEMA said there is a 60-day period to apply. You will need documentation like bills for hotels, proof of ownership, and bills for repairs.

Individual assistance can help survivors in three ways:

  • Homeowners and renters who sustained damage to their homes, cars, personal property, business, or inventory can apply for disaster assistance.
  • Assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs, uninsured personal property losses, medical and dental costs caused by the disaster, and other serious disaster-related expenses.
  • The grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for social security, Medicaid, and welfare assistance.

You can apply online at disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.

It is the first time the state of Illinois has gotten individual assistance in more than nine years.

“Our communities have been hurting, and now we are here to help them,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

Individuals can receive between $3,000 and $7,000.