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FEMA denies individual assistance for Ida damage

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Flooding ravaged parts of Wilmington following Hurricane Ida. | PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY WILMINGTON

WASHINGTON —  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declined to approve individual assistance for New Castle County homeowners and renters after Hurricane Ida.

FEMA determined that the “impact to individuals and households in New Castle County is not of the severity and magnitude” to warrant Individual Assistance. This program could have provided money directly to homeowners and renters, making it one of the more financially impactful requests following the historic flooding of the Wilmington area.

During Hurricane Ida, no buildings were destroyed but 233 homes sustained either major or minor damage or were in some way impacted by flooding. Ten percent of those homes were insured, according to state officials.

The Brandywine Creek rose to a record-breaking 23.14 feet during the hurricane, compared to its last high of 20.43 feet in 2014. About 200 people were rescued from the Riverside community from the floodwaters.

Initial estimates for individual assistance include just over $920,000 in housing assistance, such as property repairs and replacements from flood damage, and nearly $195,000 for other individual needs.

While Delaware’s request for individual assistance was denied, New Castle County was approved for public assistance and Small Business Administration aid and the hazard mitigation grant program was approved for the entire state.

Through federal aid, Delaware is expected to see more than $2.3 million but the exact figure is not finalized at this point, according to state officials.

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) has 30 days to collect requests for requests for public assistance from government agencies and nonprofits. After a review on eligibility and estimates projects for repair will be planned out. 

In about two to three months, DEMA  will have a better idea of the exact amount of federal aid based on the requests. To submit eligible projects, state and local government agencies and eligible nonprofits should register through the website: https://tinyurl.com/demaidagrant or to learn more contact Joshua.Kelly@delaware.gov.

To apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Assistance, businesses, nonprofits, homeowners, and renters should go to https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ or contact the SBA Customer Service Center by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

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