President Declares Major Disaster; FEMA Activated in Ohio

WASHINGTON -- Help is on the way for victims of last week's flooding.  President Bush has declared a major disaster area for 6 counties in Ohio, which means the Federal Emergency Management Agency will make federal money available to help with the cleanup.

A slow-moving storm system that started on August 20 dumped as much as 9 inches of rain on some areas.  The Blanchard River overflowed its banks in Findlay, leaving several blocks of downtown under water.  That flood then went downstream to Ottawa, leaving neighborhoods there flooded.

The President's action makes federal funding available to people in Allen, Crawford, Hancock, Putnam, Richland, and Wyandot counties.

Here's what FEMA can do:

  • Rent payments for temporary housing if your house is deemed unlivable.
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance.
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster.
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses and small business.

To register, starting today you can call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) Monday through Sunday.

You can also register online at

Here's the information you'll need before you call:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Current and pre-disaster address
  • A telephone number where you can be contacted. Insurance information
  • Total household annual income
  • A routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly into your bank account)
  • A description of your losses that were caused by the disaster.

Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.

Updated by AEB