A disaster recovery center is now open in northeast Iowa’s Buchanan County as two federal agencies are helping the region’s residents cope with the recent tornadoes and flooding. Bill Koontz, spokesman for the U.S. Small Business Administration, says the recovery center in Aurora is being staffed by the S.B.A. and by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
Koontz says: "We’d like to reach out to the folks in this area and also to the town of Lamont which is just down the road from Aurora, where there was maybe a couple hundred homes that were flooded and the word I’ve heard is that no one had flood insurance. That’s exactly where the S.B.A. disaster loan program is at its best. We can provide help for those folks that don’t have insurance by providing disaster loans."
The disaster recovery center opened Wednesday in the Aurora Comet Center, a city-owned basketball gymnasium in the community just northeast of Independence. Koontz says storm survivors with damage who can’t make it to Aurora can call a toll-free number.
He says to register for help, call FEMA directly at 800-621-FEMA. Koontz says the S.B.A. can make a loan for the contents of your home, if you’re a renter or a homeowner, up to $40,000. If you’re a homeowner and you have property damage, S.B.A. loans can go up to $200,000. Also, Koontz says FEMA is offering grants to survivors for up to $29,000.
Four Iowa counties have been declared federal disaster areas: Butler, Buchanan, Black Hawk and Delaware.