FEMA Disaster Recovery Center at Washington Square Mall | Credit: Igor Studenkov/Staff Reporter

More than 912,800 West Side residents, most of them in Austin, may be receiving about $66.2 million in federal emergency aid to help recover from flood devastation in July.

Because FEMA is still reviewing applications after the Nov. 7 deadline, those amounts could rise.

In response to Austin Weekly News’ request for West Side-specific data, FEMA provided a breakdown of the amount of eligible applicants and the amount of aid approved so far in the West Side zip codes. The Austin community area, especially parts south of North Avenue, bore the brunt of the flooding in the city. The amount of aid approved so far reflects that.

As of Nov. 9, about 2,203 applicants in the zip code 60639 area, which includes most of the Austin community area north of North Avenue, including a portion of Galewood, has received around $12.47 million in aid so far.

In the zip code 60707, which includes the remaining part of Galewood, about 337 eligible applicants received around $1.44 million so far. For zip code area 60651, which includes much of central Austin and most of West Humboldt Park, 3901 eligible applicants have received about $21.92 million. In the rest of Austin, in zip code 60644, another 3,735 eligible applicants have received around $18.15 million.

The flooding has also devastated other West Side community areas. In zip code 60612, which includes West Garfield Park, half of East Garfield Park and most of the northern edge of North Lawndale, 2,122 eligible applicants have received around $10.25 million so far. For zip code 60612, which includes the remaining half of East Garfield Park and a northeast corner of North Lawndale, those figures are 573 eligible applicants receiving about $1.98 million.  

Across the city and suburbs, FEMA granted more than $305 million in individual assistance to 73,073 households in Chicago and the suburbs.

This includes about $267 million in housing assistance and $38 million in other needs-based assistance. At least 19,846 people visited disaster recovery centers FEMA set up in Chicago and the suburbs by early November.

While the flooding happened July 2, it wasn’t until Aug. 15 that President Joe Biden issued a disaster declaration, permitting FEMA to begin accepting applications for disaster aid. The agency set up multiple recovery centers throughout Chicago and the suburbs where residents could apply in person, and they could apply online and over the phone. Two of those recovery centers were located in Austin, and one was located in East Garfield Park. The centers closed Nov. 4.

FEMA spokesperson Darrell Habisch said that it will take the agency time to process all the applications received by that point, and the numbers may go up in the coming weeks.

Residents can check on the status of their application and ask application-related questions by using the FEMA app, visiting DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 800-621-3362.

Igor Studenkov is a winner of multiple Illinois Press Association awards for local government and business reporting. He has been contributing to Austin Weekly News since 2015. His work has also appeared...