Thursday, August 09, 2001

Disaster aid offices preparing to close

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Disaster assistance offices in Fairfax and Hamilton that were set up to help victims of last month's flash flooding will close Aug. 16.

        More than 170 people have visited those offices to ask for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), disaster assistance grants from the state or relief from other agencies, said Dick Kimmins, spokesman for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

        “The number has dropped off markedly in the past couple of days,” he said.

        The July 17-18 flooding caused three deaths and damaged property throughout the Tristate. The flooding was especially severe in Hamilton and Butler counties.

        The disaster assistance office at Fairfax Elementary School, 3847 Southern Ave., is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

        The office at One Renaissance Center, 345 High St., Hamilton, is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

        After next Thursday, flood victims seeking help from the SBA can call 1-800-359-2227. Ohio will soon set up a toll-free number for people seeking state assistance.

        The deadline for applying for SBA loans and state disaster assistance grants is Sept. 27.

        Both offices opened Aug. 1.

        Representatives from the SBA, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross and the Ohio Department of Insurance have been at both offices. The Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency's weatherization program had representatives at the Fairfax office.


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