Federal Agency OKs $29M for Flood-Hit Detroit Residents

DETROIT (AP) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has so far approved about $29 million in grants for Detroit residents whose homes and property suffered damage from heavy flooding during a late June storm.

FEMA teams were in Detroit neighborhoods Wednesday speaking with residents and business owners about loss claims, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said during a news conference.

"They are moving quickly," Duggan added.

Residents can also seek the advice of FEMA workers on how to file claims and what qualifies at two disaster recovery centers in the city and three in the suburbs, the mayor said.

The storm dumped more than 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) of rain on Detroit and three suburban communities June 25-26, leaving thousands of basements and dozens of streets flooded. Cars and SUVs stuck in high water were abandoned on flooded freeways and many streets were impassable.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer quickly declared a state of emergency, and in mid-July, President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration that made federal grants and low-cost loans available to residents and business owners in Detroit, other parts of Wayne County and Washtenaw County.

Nearly $50 million in federal grants have been approved for people affected by the floods in the area, including $29 million for Detroit residents, according to Scott Burgess, FEMA's federal coordinating officer in recovery efforts for southeastern Michigan.

"That amount continues to increase everyday," he said Wednesday, adding that that the deadline to apply for disaster assistance is Sept. 13, 2021.

About 30,000 people in Detroit have registered claims so far, Burgess said.