Weld County flood victims have received more than $7 million in federal emergency assistance, and that number is expected to increase in the future.
According to Jennifer Finch, spokeswoman for the Weld County commissioners, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s latest numbers Monday came in for Weld’s individual assistance at $6,126,646.27 regarding housing, and $930,499.66 in other needs.
“People need to be returning their SBA (Small Business Administration) packets, and that funding will continue to go up,” Finch said.
Other needs-based assistance comes as grants to meet serious disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance or other federal, state or voluntary agencies. Those available include people or households with serious unmet needs who do not qualify for SBA disaster loans.
Finch said she didn’t have the numbers yet of what Weld will receive for infrastructure assistance.
“That process is being started today,” Finch said.
FEMA officials have said that emergency assistance is designed to supplement state and local efforts to provide life-saving and life-sustaining measures to areas affected by the flood.
Nearly $39 million in federal funds have been distributed to Colorado flood victims who have registered with FEMA, so Weld’s take is about 18 percent of FEMA’s total assistance thus far.
As of Wednesday, 23,665 people have registered with FEMA from all counties in Colorado and $38,917,253 has been distributed in assistance. Of that total, $36,502,422 is for housing and $2,414,831 for other needs.
The SBA has approved more than $11 million in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations, according to FEMA.
There have been 19,659 completed inspections and 12 disaster recovery centers are still open, including Island Grove Exhibition Hall, 525 N. 15th Ave. in Greeley. A total of 9,316 people have visited the centers. The Milliken Community Complex is no longer in operation. Transitional sheltering assistance applicants who have checked into hotels total 538.
FEMA spokesman Tom Schafer said the maximum amount of financial assistance a person can receive is $31,900.
To register for FEMA by phone, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or go online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
As far as the highway disaster relief bill where Congress voted Sept. 30 to lift the $100 million cap to help Colorado repair, roads, bridges and highways, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., is confident that a bill will be on President Barack Obama’s desk soon even with the current government shutdown.
The House and Senate both approved bills the same day last week, but each bill was written differently with different language, and they’re trying to figure out how to mesh that language and figure out what the next steps are.
“Right now, we’re working on language that would meet sort of the clearance in both the House and the Senate so we can get that done and off to the president,” said Gardner in a telephone interview from Washington. D.C. “We’re negotiating as we speak. The problem is sort of the earmark role. The two chambers have different ideas of what is or is not an earmark. The House has to write its language one way, and the Senate wrote theirs another way.”
Gardner said he’s confident that it will get resolved.
“We’re going to meet I think later this week, myself and the Senate offices, Sen. (Mark) Udall and Sen. (Michael) Bennet, to talk about a way forward,” said Gardner, who represents Weld County in the 4th Congressional District. “The bill itself passed unanimously out of the House, and it has tremendous support. We lost over 200 miles of highway and over 50 bridges.”
Gardner, once again, is holding firm on what Vice President Joe Biden said in Greeley a couple of weeks ago that federal assistance won’t be impacted in the event of a government shutdown.
“That’s the promise from the vice president. He made it in Greeley,” Gardner said. “I was two feet away from him, and we expect him to uphold that promise.”
“The bill itself passed unanimously out of the House, and it has tremendous support. We lost over 200 miles of highway and over 50 bridges