Federal Aid May be Available for Flood Victims in Jefferson, Clarion, and Other Counties

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Yesterday Governor Tom Corbett asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to declare the counties of Jefferson, Clearfield, and Fayette a disaster area because of recent flooding.

If granted by the SBA, citizens in those three counties, along with the 14 counties that border them, may be eligible for low interest disaster loans through the SBA Disaster Loan Programs.

The bordering counties include: Armstrong, Blair, Clarion, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland.

SBA officials, along with local and state officials, have conducted damage assessments in the counties. The governor used the damage assessment results to support his assistance request to the SBA.

According to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn Cannon, the damage exceeds the SBA criteria of at least 25 homes and/or businesses with uninsured losses of 40 percent or more of their estimated fair market value.

“This formal request for a declaration is necessary before any federal SBA assistance can be provided,” Cannon said. “It does not guarantee financial assistance from SBA.”

If the governor’s request is approved and the disaster declaration is granted, the SBA would provide low-interest loans of up to $200,000 to eligible homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.

SBA regulations permit loans up to $40,000 for homeowners and renters to repair or replace personal property. Businesses can borrow up to $2 million. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial qualifications.

More information on disaster assistance in Pennsylvania is available at www.pema.state.pa.us by clicking on “Disaster Assistance” in the left-hand column.

The state’s ReadyPA campaign encourages citizens to take three basic steps before an emergency occurs: Be Informed, Be Prepared, Be Involved. More detailed information, including downloadable emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, is available online at www.ReadyPA.org or by calling 1-888-9-READY-PA.

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