Disaster help for victims of flooding approved

From staff reports

Gov. Tom Wolf has announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved his request to declare Centre and Lycoming counties a disaster area after severe flooding caused significant damage to homes and businesses on Oct. 20-21.

“After my trip there right after the flooding, I understood that the devastation in Northcentral Pennsylvania is more significant and wide-spread than we have seen recently in the commonwealth,” Gov. Wolf said. “These loans will help these areas rebuild and I thank all the state and local officials who worked so hard to make sure they would be available.”

Homeowners, renters and businesses in Centre and Lycoming counties, as well as neighboring counties Blair, Bradford, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga and Union may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans through the SBA Disaster Loan Programs.

After the storms, staff from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, along with local and SBA officials, conducted damage assessments within Centre and Lycoming counties. The governor used the damage assessment results to support his assistance request to the SBA.

Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. SBA regulations permit loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million to restore damaged or destroyed buildings, inventory, equipment and assets. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial qualifications. The SBA has established Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOCs) in both Centre and Lycoming counties. The centers are located in the following communities and are open as indicated:

CENTRE COUNTY

Office of Emergency Services, Willowbank Office Building, 420 Holmes St. Bellefonte.

Opens: Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 10 a.m.

Hours: Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Closed: Sunday, Dec. 4

Closing: Thursday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m.

LYCOMING COUNTY

Department of Public Safety, Lysock Complex, 542 County Farm Road, Montoursville.

Opens: Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 10 a.m.

Hours: Weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Closed: Sunday, Dec. 4

Closing: Thursday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m.

SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the disaster loan outreach center to issue loan applications, answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals to complete their applications.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the center in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or by e-mailing disastercustomerservice @sba.gov.

Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Jan. 17, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Aug. 18, 2017.

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