Financial Aid Starting To Flow To Flooded Communities

May 9, 2019

FEMA has approved $12 million in payments to people recovering from Iowa floods, and 1,829 registrations for help have been filed with the agency. Those are the latest numbers reported by Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management to the state Flood Recovery Advisory Board.

FEMA grants can cover a portion of the cost of rebuilding or repairing a home, or families can use the money to help pay rent while they are displaced. Gov. Kim Reynolds said the financial aid totals will climb once the Davenport area is added to the list of counties eligible for federal assistance.

Rep. Dave Sieck, R-Glenwood, tells about ongoing problems caused by the flooding in his southwest Iowa district.
Credit Grant Gerlock / IPR

“We want to make sure that we’re assessing the damage, that we’re keeping the communication open and that we’re getting these communities and families and businesses the resources that they need,” Reynolds said following a meeting of the board Thursday.

Louisa County was added to the Presidential Disaster Declaration Wednesday. Scott County is expected to be the ninth county placed on the list in the coming days.

The federal Small Business Administration is putting loan money into flood recovery. SBA has approved loans to 191 flooded homeowners totaling $18.8 million. Thirteen loans adding up to $1.8 million have been granted to businesses hurt by the disaster, although some local leaders in southwest Iowa are reporting that dozens of business have had their loan applications denied, according to Rep. Dave Sieck, R-Glenwood.

“A lot of times it’s the way they apply,” Sieck said. “They don’t apply right or they don’t fill out the paperwork right. They’ve never had to deal with the government before.”

Businesses that are denied a disaster loan can follow up with FEMA officials at a local flood disaster center to learn how paperwork can be corrected. The Small Business Development Center at Iowa Western Community College can also help with loan applications.