JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – President Joe Biden approved Governor Mike Parson’s request Monday for a federal disaster declaration in Missouri following the July 25-28 flash flooding event in the St. Louis region.
Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri on July 26. The governor sent the disaster declaration request to President Biden on Thursday, Aug. 4, after meeting with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, and local emergency managers.
According to the governor’s office, the flash flooding damaged more than 750 homes and 130 businesses and led to at least $35 million in damage to uninsured infrastructure and emergency response costs.
The disaster declaration means eligible residents in St. Louis City, as well as St. Louis and St. Charles counties, can seek federal assistance from FEMA for temporary housing, housing repairs, replacement of damaged belongings, vehicles, and other qualifying expenses relating to the flooding and storms.
FEMA’s Public Assistance program is also available to the City of St. Louis and St. Louis, Montgomery, and St. Charles counties. This program allows local governments and qualifying nonprofits to seek federal aid for reimbursement of emergency response and recovery costs, including repair and replacement of damaged infrastructure.
A St. Louis County flood victim, Jade Brandon said she is frustrated after standing in long lines at one of the multi-agency resource centers and decided to leave.
“It is completely, utterly hard to try to get proper help,” said Brandon. “Lots of people have been struggling trying to receive help looking in all different places, and it’s been hasn’t been sufficient.”
Hundreds of other flood victims sought help at the multi-agency resource center (MARC) in University Center. The center was at full capacity and some people were turned away. The center was supposed to close at 8 p.m., but they stay open late to assist people who were still in line. On Friday, the MARC center at the Friendly Temple Church in north St. Louis was also at capacity. One north county flood victim, who does not want to be identified said she was disappointed.
“I went to Friendly Temple Friday, made it through the line and the in-take, only to be told I got a case number from the American Red Cross, and only for my case to be closed 24 hours later,” said the flood victim.”
JoAnn Woody who is with the American Red Cross advised flood victims to not give up on seeking help.
“Don’t give up. If they have not had a chance to be at one multi-agency resource center, we encourage everyone to try, and get to one of those agency resource centers,” said Woody. “There are some for damage levels there are others there to provide additional support.”
The deadline for most individual assistance programs is 60 days following President Biden’s disaster declaration.
People in the aforementioned areas who sustained damage or losses due to the flooding between July 25 and July 28 can apply for federal disaster assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling FEMA’s toll-free application line 1-800-621-FEMA from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time, seven days a week. Residents are encouraged to document their losses with photographs and receipts.
Individuals with unmet needs and those who would like to help should contact United Way 211. Visit http://211helps.org or call 2-1-1 for assistance. Recovery.mo.gov also has additional resources and information about disaster recovery in Missouri.
The American Red Cross has a shelter at St. Vincent Community Center, 7335 St. Charles Rock Rd., St. Louis 63133 where flood victims can go to seek relief. There are three additional dates for the multi-agency resource centers that will start on Tuesday, Aug. 9 for those impacted by recent flooding.
MARCs are “one-stop shops” for people needing assistance to recover from the flood. The center will be held at the Friendly Temple Church on Tuesday, Aug. 9, Wednesday, Aug. 10, and Thursday, Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.