Cape Girardeau County has highest number of FEMA flood assistance applicants, not highest payout

Friday, September 12, 2008

In the nearly six months since flooding hammered Southeast Missouri, recovery has been slow. But as of this week, it has been aided by nearly $13 million in assistance from the federal government and Small Business Administration.

While applications for individual assistance were highest in the more populated Cape Girardeau County (812), residents in Butler and Wayne counties have so far each received more financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

With 741 applications, nearly $3.14 million has been paid toward flood recovery efforts of Wayne County residents compared to $1.06 million in Cape Girardeau County. FEMA does not release information on how many of those applications may still be pending, because  the number may fluctuate dramatically from one day to the next, according to FEMA External Affairs Field Specialist Don Bolger.

Butler County individuals have also received more than Cape Girardeau County, at a total of almost $1.7 million, with 630 applications made.

Of the $13.6 million in individual assistance FEMA has already paid to Missouri residents for spring flooding, almost $7.7 million went to Southeast Missouri families.

Southeast Missouri counties other than Butler, Wayne and Cape Girardeau each had between 213 and 85 applicants for FEMA assistance.

Some 88 applicants in Missouri have received FEMA’s maximum award, $28,800.

Flood victims in this corner of the state have also received almost half, nearly $5.2 million, of the more than $10.4 million in SBA loans granted to subsidize recovery of 264 homeowners and 38 businesses in Missouri.

SBA provides low interest disaster recovery loans to both homeowners and business owners.

Butler County has had both the largest number of approved applications, 38, and amount of assistance, $2,214,600. It had the greatest number of businesses effected in Southeast Missouri, with nine applicants receiving more than $1.2 million of the county’s total SBA loans.

Butler has the second largest average payout to applicants, $58,300, compared to the average loan of $106,600 paid to Reynolds County’s two homeowners and two business owners.

The largest number of homeowners applying for a SBA loan, 35, was in Cape Girardeau County where residents and one business have received almost $632,000 from SBA.

It is followed by Wayne County, with 28 homeowners, four businesses and one non-profit receiving more than $1.3 million in assistance. This is the only county in Southeast Missouri to have a non-proflt organization approved for an SBA loan.

Carter County has the fewest number of approved applications, with one business receiving a loan for $9,000.

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