Flood relief funds are starting to flow to victims

The flood waters rushed into some people's homes in a matter of minutes, but the flood relief dollars aren't flowing in as quickly.

Things did get moving a little bit though earlier in the week after President Barack Obama declared a federal disaster for 14 counties in Southern Illinois.

And on Saturday state and federal disaster agencies met with hundreds of victims at the Egyptian School in Tamms, Illinois to explain how people need to go about registering with FEMA and the SMA for some funding, with their recovery efforts.

"Basically we are bringing the federal government and the state government resources that we have to the people. As opposed to trying to have the people come to us," said U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello, Illinois 12th District.

And after hearing what each one of the representatives had to say about relief funds coming to the region, some people were feeling better about their future.

"I think it will help. My wife and I lost two homes in this flood. As other people have also lost their homes," said Larry Vaughn of Olive Branch, Illinois.

"This is a great disaster and I think help is on the way."

But, not everyone is so optimistic about getting the help they need.

"I'm down to three to seven customers maybe a day due to the lack of interest in eating out," said Tammy Greenlee, owner of Nana's Fish Hut in Mounds, Illinois.

"Because they're all still trying to get their homes back together. So I have choose to close the doors as of this past Thursday. There's not enough income to even keep them open. I'm here to find out if I can get any help, I've got thousands of dollars in daily loss. I didn't get any water in my business."

The process to apply for aide from FEMA is a quick and easy process according to Greg Eaton, FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer.

"It's really a quick process right now we're averaging about a half-a-day to three-quarters of a day from the time you call and register, until the time the inspector is contacting you back," said Eaton.

"So it's a quick process, in about a day you're going to hear from an inspector. And when you register you're also going to give us an account number for electronic transfer. So within about five to seven days you'll have a check from the federal government. That will be a grant and it's tax free. It's not a loan."

But, if you do have to get help from the Small Business Administration, that is a loan and must be repaid along with the interest.

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