Durbin Visits FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in East St. Louis, Urges Residents Affected By Flooding to Apply for Federal Assistance by December 16th

EAST ST. LOUIS – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to discuss relief efforts after historic storms caused widespread damage across the region in July. More than $5 million in federal assistance has already been approved for St. Clair County residents across several FEMA programs. Affected residents should submit an application to FEMA as soon as possible at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 by December 16th

“At the end of July, storms caused widespread damage across the St. Louis metropolitan area,” said Durbin. “This rainfall was the most prolific one the area has seen since the National Weather Service started its records in 1874, leaving more than 700 homes damaged. I’ve met with some of the local residents from my hometown of East St. Louis and heard their heartbreaking stories, and it was critical the federal government stepped in to offer them a real solution. As of today, more than $5 million has been approved for St. Clair County residents, and I encourage every single resident who has been directly affected by these floods to apply for assistance as soon as possible. I will continue to support recovery efforts in any way I can, and my office stands ready to serve as a resource.”

“Partnerships are the backbone of disaster recovery,” said Tom Sivak, FEMA Region 5 Administrator. “State and local officials were key in helping establish Disaster Recovery Centers quickly, and having Senator Durbin here today brings critical attention to the fact that assistance continues to be available at centers in East St. Louis and Caseyville. We encourage anyone that was affected and still needs assistance to be in touch with us online, over the phone or at one of our Disaster Recovery Centers. While we have already approved more than $4.4 million in Individual Assistance in just three weeks since the declaration, we are going to continue to work to ensure that every eligible dollar is available to St. Clair County residents.

“We greatly appreciate FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program and the support from US Senator Durbin for the residents in St. Clair County. IEMA was on the ground in St. Clair County when the flooding occurred and worked closely with residents to document damages at their homes and personal possessions,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tata-Nadeau. “We are grateful to Governor JB Pritzker for declaring an Illinois disaster proclamation and the continued strong support from US Senator Durbin for all those in affected areas in St. Clair County.”

From July 25th to July 28th of this year, storms caused widespread damage across both Illinois and Missouri. On July 26th, a particularly historic storm resulted in 8 to 12 inches of rain in a mere 12 hours, causing multiple swift water rescues, the evacuation of more than 20 families, flooded interstates, and widespread flood damage reported by more than 700 households in St. Clair County. This was the most rainfall the St. Louis metropolitan area has seen since National Weather Service records began in 1874. 

In August, Durbin led the Illinois Delegation in sending a letter to President Biden, requesting that FEMA provide federal assistance to St. Clair County. On October 14th, President Biden declared the event a major disaster. The declaration made St. Clair County residents eligible for aid under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, which provides a wide range of assistance to individuals and households, as well as the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program, to apply for funding to prevent future disaster losses.  To help administer this assistance, FEMA set up two DRCs to assist disaster-affected individuals; one at Clyde Jordan Senior Citizen Center in East St. Louis and one at Caseyville Village Hall. Information on available programs through Individual Assistance can be found here, and information on Hazard Mitigation Assistance can be found here.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is also offering low-interest disaster loans to residents of St. Clair County, and to businesses in St. Clair and contiguous counties. Information on the loan programs can be found here. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, or download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955.