St. Peters school remains closed as flood clean up continues

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The rain and flood waters damaged hundreds of homes and businesses across the St. Charles and St. Louis region and many are working to pick up the pieces, including The Center of Autism Education in St. Peters.

“It was filled with muck and gunk and there was water 3-4 inches up the walls,” said Hanne Hawkins, the school’s Director of Development.

Students are set to return on August 17 but numerous classrooms, the hallways and the office are seriously damaged. They don’t have flood insurance, so the $50,000 in damage will have to come out of pocket.

“It’s devastating knowing that money could be helping our students,” she said.

On Monday, President Joe Biden approved Governor Mike Parson’s request for a federal disaster declaration. That opens up flood victims to FEMA grant money. But that is not available to businesses or nonprofits. Businesses and nonprofits, including landlords, are eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the US Small Business Association (SBA).

According to the SBA, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

If you are an individual impacted by flooding, FEMA is available to help. You can apply for FEMA assistance by clicking here or calling FEMA’s toll-free application line at 1-800-621-3362 from 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Central Time, seven days a week. Victims are encouraged to document losses, such as taking photos of flood damage and keeping receipts.

At the Center for Autism Education, families and the community are helping fundraise to help rebuild and replace furniture and classroom supplies. If you are interested in helping, click here.