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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

If you suffered damage or loss from December and January floods, you may be eligible for FEMA help

Federal disaster declaration includes South County

By Nancy Lavin, Rhode Island Current

Residents and businesses hurt by two recent rounds of severe flooding now have access to federal grants and low-interest loans under a pair of disaster declarations approved Thursday by President Joe Biden.

The official recognition requested by Gov. Dan McKee allows people in Providence, Kent and Washington counties to tap into federal funding if they or their properties were affected by either of the disaster designation periods: Dec. 17-19, 2023, and Jan. 9-13, 2024, according to a statement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“When severe weather strikes, it’s important Rhode Islanders are not only prepared and ready to react, but know that their government stands with them,” McKee said in a statement on Thursday. “I thank President Biden and FEMA for their approval of this relief, which will help affected families and businesses who suffered losses get their lives back on track.” 

FEMA is offering grants for residents in Kent, Providence and Washington counties to pay for home repairs, legal services, or temporary housing, among others. FEMA has also named a federal coordinating officer, Robert V. Fogel, to oversee disaster recovery efforts and funding in the affected areas. 

Separately, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest loans to eligible small-business owners for physical damage from either disaster, or demonstrate economic losses. Interest rates on loans range from 2.7% to 8% depending on existing credit and the type of relief being sought, according to the SBA application.

The disaster loans are separate from low-interest, economic injury loans offered by the SBA for Providence County businesses affected by the closure of the westbound I-195 Washington Bridge.

There is also federal funding available statewide, with a contribution of local or state funds required, for hazard mitigation efforts, according to FEMA.

Additional disaster designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and approved after federal review, FEMA said in a statement

More information on individual grant assistance is available at, or by calling 1-800-621- 3362. Small businesses can apply for loans through the SBA website.



Rhode Island Current is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Rhode Island Current maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Janine L. Weisman for questions: Follow Rhode Island Current on Facebook and Twitter.