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Published: Thursday, 7/20/2006

FEMA flooding claims still being accepted

Residents of northwest Ohio affected by last month's floods continue to seek assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA, which has provided more than $5.5 million so far, has received applications for assistance from 8,372 people or businesses in six counties, spokesman Terry Wells said yesterday.

Erie, Huron, Lucas, and Sandusky counties as well as Stark and Cuyahoga counties were declared major disaster areas by President Bush as a result of flooding between June 21 and 23.

Mr. Wells said applications continue to be filed with FEMA, though at a slower pace than when federal disaster assistance was announced.

A temporary disaster recovery center in Valley View near Cleveland will close on Saturday. The Brewster office in Stark County was shuttered yesterday.

Mr. Wells said applications from those two areas can still be filed by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by going to the agency's Web site, www.fema.gov. Aug. 31 is the deadline for applying.

The offices for Lucas County at 2127 Jefferson Ave. in Toledo; and Huron County, Norwalk High School, 350 Shadylane, will remain open for the foreseeable future, he said.

Total applications from the six counties received through Monday was 8,372, of which 4,136 were approved.

The northwest Ohio breakdown is:

●Erie: 248 applications filed, 113 approved.

●Huron: 544 filed, 237 approved.

●Lucas: 3,213 filed, 1,312 approved.

●Sandusky, 228 filed, 98 approved.

Lucas County has received the bulk of the assistance grants, $1.8 million, followed by Huron County, $432,600; Erie, $259,500; and Sandusky, $130,800.

FEMA agents have inspected 8,689 homes and businesses and have a backlog of about 550, Mr. Wells said.

Only property damaged during the June timeframe is eligible for FEMA aid, Mr. Wells said.

Recent flooding in Toledo is not eligible unless a new disaster declaration is declared.

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