FEMA opens disaster assistance center in Calumet City after September flooding

ByEvelyn Holmes and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, December 1, 2023
FEMA opens disaster assistance center in Calumet City
A new FEMA disaster assistance center in Calumet City aims to help those who experienced heavy flood damage in September in the south suburbs.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency opened a recovery center Friday in south suburban Calumet City.

The FEMA disaster assistance center aims to help those who experienced heavy flood damage in September.

Widespread property damage happened during record rainfall across the south suburbs.

The center is operating at the Calumet City Public Library on South Manistee Avenue.

"Come on in. You can get one-on-one assistance right here," FEMA spokesperson Darrel Habisch said. "We will help you register for assistance."

The registration process took about 30 minutes on average for those at the center on Friday.

READ MORE | Flooding in Illinois: Federal disaster proclamation issued for Sept. flash flooding in south suburbs

Kimberly Harmon said she needs help to pay the estimated $20,000 needed to repair the damage that the September flood waters did to her home on Exchange Avenue in Calumet City.

"My washing machine, dryer, freezer, yeah carpet, furniture," Harmon said.

Specialist at the site help residents apply for federal disaster assistance and upload documents, among other things.

Along with the FEMA grants, the Small Business Administration will also be on hand too offering low-interest loans to residents.

"The SBA will provide assistance to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations," SBA spokesperson Vivian Santos-Rodriguez said.

Specialists said undocumented residents can also apply if someone in their home has a social security number.

If an application is rejected, official say to not give up and instead appeal the decision.

To avoid an unnecessary delays, FEMA officials are encouraging anyone with flood damage to apply well before the January 19, 2024 deadline. So far, roughly 5,000 people have already registered.

It is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.