The deadline for August flood victims to apply for FEMA aid or low interest loans from the Small Business Administration has been extended until to November 14th. FEMA spokesperson Kurt Pickering says this will give people more time to register for assistance. He says so far, individual households in Louisiana have received 699-million dollars in grants to repair their homes.

“The number of applications is in the neighborhood of 150,000 and the deadline is at midnight at the end of the day on the 13th.”

Pickering says by applying for FEMA aid, it also starts the process to receive an SBA loan, which can provide flood victims up to 200-thousand dollars and up to 2 million dollars for businesses.

“If SBA can give them a loan, it’s usually better for people because it’s well under market interest rates and it’s a much larger pot of money. Each individual household would be able to get more money from SBA than from us.”

Pickering says the federal government remains very committed to the recovery process in Louisiana, despite the massive damage the East Coast received from Hurricane Matthew. He says FEMA staff will not be moved from Louisiana.

“There really isn’t any visible impact when something else comes along like that, and I know that is a concern among the public but it really doesn’t happen with the way the system is set up.”