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USA: More than $5.2 million in aid approved for June Missouri flooding

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Release Number: 1773-057

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- State and federal officials announce that more than $5.2 million in disaster aid has been approved for Missouri residents who suffered losses and damages from the flooding that occurred between June 1 and July 18.

Recovery summary (as of the close of business Aug. 21) for the Individual Assistance program is as follows: (includes counties of Andrew, Cass, Clark, Gentry, Greene, Holt, Johnson, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Marion, Nodaway, Pike, Ralls, St. Charles, Stone, Taney, Vernon, and Webster)

- Nearly $3.1 million has been approved to help disaster-affected Missourians with temporary housing and home repairs.

- $260,000 has been approved for Other Needs Assistance, which may include the repair or replacement of personal property and disaster-related transportation, moving, and medical expenses, etc.

- 1,384 damage inspections have been completed. Those who may be awaiting an inspector are reminded to keep their appointments to speed recovery assistance.

- Almost $1.9 million has been approved for homeowners and businesses by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Those who have questions about low-interest loans from SBA can call 1-800-659-2955, e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visit SBA's Web site at: www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

- SBA has issued a total of 1,337 applications to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profits. It is important that these applications are completed and returned as soon as possible. Completing the SBA loan application is a crucial step in the recovery process and may determine eligibility for other types of disaster assistance.

- 1,668 individuals have applied for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) toll-free registration number at: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., until further notice. Multilingual operators are also available. Those affected by the storms can also register online at www.fema.gov. The deadline to apply for assistance is Aug. 27, 2008.

- FEMA Community Relations (CR) specialists have been working in disaster-designated counties and visiting Missourians affected by the severe storms and flooding. These CR specialists have talked or left recovery information and mitigation information with thousands of flood-stricken residents, business owners, church members, and local officials.

- Those who may be feeling stressed as a result of the disaster can call the LifeRAFT Crisis line at 1-866-384-1254 to speak with a counselor who may be able help them understand their current situation and reactions, review their options, and link them with resources and agencies that can provide emotional support. In addition, counselors will canvas affected areas, place ads in newspapers, and put up flyers to notify Missouri residents about the available counseling.

- The young Lawyers Section of the Missouri Bar has established a Disaster Hotline at 1-800-829-4128 to assist people in the disaster-affected counties with basic legal questions. Disaster-related legal help may include getting information on replacing lost documents, housing/landlord/tenant disputes, mortgage foreclosure information, consumer rights, and insurance questions. When calling the hotline number, leave a message with current contact information and the call will be returned by a legal specialist.

- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) disaster relief information on extending tax deadlines, how to claim disaster losses, and other disaster relief information from the IRS can be found at www.irs.gov (click on storms, floods, tornadoes and other disasters and then choose Missouri). The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040.

- 1,275 people have visited Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) to talk face to face with recovery specialists, get help filling out an SBA loan application, or check the status of their applications. The DRC in Winfield will close Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. Location and hours are as follows:

LINCOLN COUNTY

Winfield-Foley Fire Department
2663 E. Hwy 47
Winfield, MO 63389
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22
8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 23
Closed Sunday
8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 25
8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 26
8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 27

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.