Illinois Flood Victims Finally Get Some Federal Help

Nov 18, 2019

The US Small Business Adminstration has issued a disaster declaration for Illinois.

Michelle O'Neill reports, the designation should help households and businesses recover from record flooding earlier this year.

This month, FEMA denied Illinois' appeal for individual disaster assistance for flood recovery. Almost immediately, the state emergency management agency requested financial assistance from the Small Business Administration.

Flooding in rural Rock Island County, spring 2019 (file)
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

The SBA approval is good news for homeowners, renters, businesses, and nonprofits in Rock Island, Stephenson, Jersey, and Alexander counties, plus 13 adjacent Illinois counties (Calhoun, Carroll, Greene, Henry, Jo Daviess, Macoupin, Madison, Mercer, Ogle, Pulaski, Union, Whiteside, and Winnebago). 

Individual flood victims are now eligible to apply for low interest loans to repair or replace buildings and personal property. Businesses and nonprofits may also apply for loans to repair or replace real estate, equipment, inventory, and other assets.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says people and companies affected by flooding on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers have been waiting months for help from the federal government.

More than seven months ago, in March, FEMA approved financial assistance for households and businesses in three counties Iowa counties along the Mississippi River (Scott, Muscatine, and Louisa). By the way, the new SBA disaster declaration for Illinois includes contiguous counties in other states, such as Clinton County, Iowa. 

The SBA will set up Disaster Loan Outreach Centers in Illinois to help applicants. But the locations and hours haven't been announced yet.

The deadline to apply for property damage loans is *January 13th, 2020 (previously December 9th, 2019). Applications for economic injury must be returned by *August 14th, 2020 (previously July 10th, 2020). More information is available HERE or by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

*Edited on Nov. 20th, 2019 to update changes in deadline dates.