WASHINGTON, DC -- As part of its ongoing efforts to help people and businesses recover from severe winter storms in December and January that resulted in extensive flood damage across Rhode Island, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved $12.9 million in federal flood aid for Rhode Islanders so far, according to the state’s Congressional delegation. 

U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse were joined by Congressmen Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo in announcing $4.1 million was approved for Individual/Household Assistance for the December 2023 storm event and $8.8 million was approved for Individual/Household Assistance for the January 2024 storm event.

Rhode Island received a disaster declaration from President Joe Biden in the areas affected by a severe storm and flooding from December 17 to December 19, 2023 and January 9 to 13, 2024.  These two disaster declarations ensured appropriate federal assistance is made available to eligible Rhode Islanders, including individuals, local governments, and certain non-profits who were negatively impacted by the floods. 

The National Weather Service reported that during December 17 to 19, 2023, northern Rhode Island into the Providence area saw the region’s highest rainfall totals, where at least 4.5 inches of rainfall were observed.  Local utility providers also reported more than 70,000 power outages as a result of damaging winds.

Additionally, starting on January 9, 2024, Rhode Island was impacted by a severe storm system that delivered days worth of heavy rainfall, damaging winds, and widespread, significant flooding across the state.  These rains overwhelmed storm water systems and rivers, submerged cars, closed local and state roads, flooded and forced evacuations from homes and apartment complexes. According to National Weather Service data, much of the state received at least 3 inches of rainfall, with isolated pockets receiving over 5 inches of rainfall.  The Pawcatuck, Pawtuxet, and Blackstone Rivers, three major watersheds, were all in flood stage during the incident.

This week, FEMA announced that the deadline to apply for FEMA assistance for the severe storms and flooding that took place Dec. 17-19, 2023, and Jan. 9-13, 2024 is May 20, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Homeowners and renters in Kent, Providence and Washington counties with uninsured losses from the storms may be eligible for financial assistance for temporary lodging, basic home repairs, personal property losses and other uninsured disaster-related expenses.

Affected residents can apply to FEMA in one of the following ways: Call 1-800-621-3362; online at DisasterAssistance.gov; or download the FEMA Mobile App.