SIOUX CITY -- FEMA representative Michelle Oliva is becoming quite knowledgeable about Woodbury County.
She and a crew of about a dozen Federal Emergency Management Agency workers went door-to-door in Sioux City Monday afternoon, assisting people in registering for disaster assistance from recent flooding.
On March 23, President Donald Trump issued an expedited major disaster declaration for 56 Iowa counties, including Woodbury, affected by floods.
This also means individual assistance is available for residents who may be facing expenses or serious needs they cannot otherwise meet.
"Over the weekend, we were able to help people in Hornick, Iowa, to fill out paperwork," Oliva said. "Now, we're canvassing in Sioux City."
Flooding along the West Fork of the Little Sioux River and a compromised levee forced more than 200 Hornick residents to evacuate the small Woodbury County town for several days. Many residents returned home to flooded basements and other water damage.
In Sioux City, FEMA reps focused their canvass on the Indian Hills, Morningside and Riverside/westside neighborhoods.
There is more than one way for flood victims to register for up to $34,900 in disaster assistance, according to Kevin Wallace, the supervisor for Iowa FEMA Division B, which includes both Woodbury and Monona counties.
"A person may register with a FEMA representative, online at Disasterassistance.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)," he said. "They may also register in person at the lower level of the Security Institute on the Western Iowa Tech Community College campus."
Wallace recommends filling out the paperwork as soon as possible since the deadline is April 23.
Public information officer Cynthia Cowell said the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will also have loans available for homes, businesses and nonprofit organizations that were impacted from flooding.
"Homeowners, renters and business owners who've experienced physical damage due to flooding can apply for an SBA loan by May 22," Cowell said. "Businesses that have experienced financial damages as a result of the flooding have until Dec. 23 to apply for a loan."
People can apply for SBA assistance at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or by calling 1-800-659-2955.
Cowell also said people can apply in person through SBA representatives, who are also housed inside the lower level of WITCC's Security Institute.
"Even if you choose not to accept a loan through SBA, it is still worthwhile to complete the paperwork," she said. "At least, you'll have something on file before the deadline."