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FEMA opening disaster recovery centers in Missouri

By Adam Allington, KWMU

University City, MO – People seeking assistance to bounce back from September's flash flooding, may soon get some relief from the federal government.

FEMA is opening disaster recovery centers around the St. Louis region to help businesses and homeowners whose property was damaged last September by Hurricane Ike.

15 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis were declared disaster areas on November 13th. FEMA has received 600 assistance applications so far.

U-City resident Christina Becton is trying to recoup damage caused when her finished basement was flooded.

"Like about $35,000 to have the lower level done, and when the mold came in they had to come and tear all of that out," says Becton. "So, everything down there was just ruined."

FEMA spokesperson Kerry Sullivan says businesses and homeowners may be eligible for grants for repair and replacement as well as rental assistance.

He stresses that claims need to be on file with FEMA within 60 days of November 13th.

"Once you have registered you can go back again and again as you find and document more damage, once you have fallen within that initial application period," says Sullivan.

"But that is the critical thing, if you don't get on board the boat its going to sail without you."

A FEMA disaster recovery center is located in University City at the Centennial Commons Building.

For a complete list of eligible counties and other disaster centers consult FEMA's website or call 1-800-621-FEMA