ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday approved a disaster declaration that will open individual assistance for areas of St. Clair County affected by flooding in late July.
Some residents told News 4 the help is coming too late and not enough to rebuild their lives.
Governor J.B. Pritzker on August 3 declared an Illinois natural disaster for the affected areas of St. Clair County.
Homes have been vacated and boarded up in the Edgemount neighborhood of East St. Louis since last July’s historic flooding.
Residents like Marcus Harris-Pryde are outraged.
“They said in the news that we are the worst affected region. So if we’re the hardest hit area and St. Louis is right there, why didn’t we get help,” Harris-Pryde asked.
On July 25, the flood flooded streets, houses and businesses. More than 700 houses were damaged or completely destroyed by the flood.
After three months, residents said that nothing has changed.
“We don’t care [what the reasons are]”, Maranita Sanders explained. “As a society, we don’t care about us. Do something. Do something, we demand it. We don’t ask.”
Answers arrived in East St. Louis on Monday. It was there that FEMA announced that President Biden had signed individual assistance to parts of St. Clair County. This comes two months after Governor Pritzker took action at the state level.
News 4 brought the residents’ concerns to IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nado and asked why it was taking so long for the money to arrive.
“We had to meet certain criteria, but we definitely got our data as quickly as Missouri,” Tate-Nado said.
This response did not sit well with resident LaTanya Johnson, who said that all flood victims should be treated equally.
“People in Missouri were getting paid to walk over the bridge for a week or two, it shouldn’t be any different. They all lost,” Johnson said.
IEMA said it aims to have the Small Business Administration in the city by the end of the week. The agency provides low-interest loans to both businesses and residents.
Several residents, like Tra’mill Slaughter, said they only found out about Monday night’s public meeting after contacting News 4 earlier in the day.
“I usually just go by the house and check the mail and I saw you outside and you told me there was a meeting that I didn’t know anything about,” Slaughter said. “Nobody’s sending email replies, phone calls, or anything like that.”
“People lost everything, and you’re talking $3,000 to $7,000,” Johnson said. “Three cars, all the walls, all the clothes, underwear, school clothes. Any item from $3,000 to $7,000. You can’t put a price on it, but don’t put people down because you’ve done it by insulting them.
St. Clair County residents have 60 days to apply for individual assistance. Applications open on Tuesday
- There are three ways to apply:
- Fill out the application DisasterAssistance.gov https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
- Call 1-800-621-3362
Download the FEMA app for your smartphone device.
During your application, documentation will be required, including proof of ownership and receipts for repairs.
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