Metro Detroit flood aid total hits $246M

Kyla Smith
The Detroit News

With the deadline to apply for disaster aid past, $246 million in grants and loans has been approved for Metro Detroiters who suffered property damage in the August floods.

As of Monday, 128,083 people had applied for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, FEMA has approved $141.5 million in grants, while the Small Business Administration has approved $104.5 million in low-interest loans.

The deadline to seek FEMA aid was Sunday; Monday was the deadline to apply for an SBA loan of up to $200,000. But some people may still qualify for aid, FEMA spokesman Ray Perez said Monday.

“Keep in mind that cases are still open. For some reason, if you missed the deadline, you can still call the hotline number,” Perez said. “If you have a compelling story of why you missed it, you might still be able to receive aid, but there is no guarantee.”

Homeowners who applied for FEMA or SBA aid and were denied may reapply within 60 days, Perez said. There is no penalty for an appeal.

For some families who are still struggling to rebuild their homes months after the flood, disaster recovery specialists from Church World Service are putting on a Recovery Tools and Training workshop from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 8129 Packard, Warren. Organizers say about 900 households still need help cleaning their basements, removing mold and making repairs.

“Even with government assistance, it’s still not enough. Some disaster survivors fall between the cracks,” said Carol Fouke-Mpoyo, a spokeswoman for Church World Service. “Our job is to empower the local community so that they feel safe and are able to come back to their homes and lead effective lives.”

Anyone who still needs help is urged to call 211, she said.

During the Aug. 11 storms, parts of nearly all of Metro Detroit’s major freeways were closed. In some places, the water reached up to 14 feet.

For more information on the FEMA assistance programs, call (800) 621-3362 or log on to 222-2300