January 26, 2015

Assistance coming to individuals, businesses impacted by June storms

Disaster assistance for businesses and individuals is being offered to the areas of Nebraska most heavily damaged by June storms, but not by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA announced earlier that though public assistance has been made available for several areas of Nebraska hit hard by June storms, individual assistance would not.

The state turned to the Small Business Administration, which has issued a declaration of disaster for Stanton County for tornadoes, high winds, and flooding that occurred during June. Its five neighboring counties, Colfax, Cuming, Madison, Pierce, Platte, and Wayne, also will be eligible for low-interest federal loans.

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency Assistant Director Bryan Tuma says SBA personnel will be talking with homeowners and business owners impacted by the storms.

“They will begin working with individuals and businesses to identify what type of programs, either through SBA or other government programs that might be able to assist those folks with recovery,” Tuma tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate WNAX.

Most of the assistance provided by SBA will come in the form of low-interest loans.

Tuma says recovery assistance will be made available to offset losses incurred June 14th through the 21st.

“That was the storm period, or that weather period, where we had the most damage to residential and businesses, obviously with a lot of public infrastructure,” according to Tuma.

Storms rocked Nebraska during June, including tornadoes, the most destructive of which was the June 16th EF4 tornado that tore through Pilger, wrecking more than half the town.

Federal assistance has been approved to help offset the cost of recovery borne by local governments as well as the state.

“Nebraskans truly appreciate the approval of the SBA assistance following the June storms,” Gov. Dave Heineman said in a written statement. “The low-interest federal disaster loans available to homeowners, renters and businesses will provide needed assistance in the recovery of the affected communities.”

SBA representatives will staff a Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application:

The Stanton County Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be located in the Stanton County Courthouse, Commissioners Room, 804 Ivy St. It will open Monday and be open between 8am and 4:30pm Mondays through Fridays.