By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer
HAMILTON - Butler County cleared a major hurdle Monday in its attempt to receive financial relief for homeowners who sustained uninsured damages from this month's flood.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's regional office in Atlanta recommended that the county be declared a disaster area. The SBA office in Washington will make the final decision.
A disaster designation would enable uninsured flood victims in Butler County and neighboring counties to apply for low-interest loans from the SBA. Those who don't qualify for those loans could apply for Ohio's individual assistance grants.
"This is a chance for people to get back on their feet," said William Turner, director of the Butler County Emergency Management Agency.
There is no indication when the SBA's Washington office will make a decision, said Matt Young, a spokesman for the SBA's Area 2 Disaster Assistance office in Atlanta, which has Ohio and 13 other states under its jurisdiction. Turner said he hopes to see a decision this week.
"People need to know what they've got to work with," he said. "Many of them can't afford to repair their homes the way it should be done unless they have somebody helping them."
During the second week of June, heavy rain caused some creeks and other waterways to flood, damaging more than 300 Butler County homes. The vast majority of homes affected by flooding in Butler sustained minor damage, such as flooded basements, Turner said.
Communities in Butler County that suffered flood damages include St. Clair Township, New Miami, Fairfield, College Corner and Somerville, as well as Hanover, Ross, Milford and Reily townships.
Much of the flooding centered on areas near Four Mile, Seven Mile and Pleasant Run creeks. The most severely damaged homes were on Warwick Avenue in St. Clair Township, where Four Mile Creek runs.
Howard: Some good news
Korte: Inside City Hall
Pulfer: The ambassador
SCOTUS RULING: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Court upholds principle, strikes down quotas
Local colleges step up minority recruiting
Local college-bound teens divided on vote
Tristate: Race matters
Putting the court's ruling into context
Bush: Diversity, not quotas, won
Excerpts from the court's two cases
Editorial: For the good of diversity
Guest column: Colleges face new confusion with court's guidelines
Local voices: Affirmative action ruling
Reserves receive hero's welcome
Butler Co. closer to relief from flooding
Fairfield can't stand the rain
Taxpayers stuck with Kroger's $15M bill
Mercedes-Benz looking at West Chester
2 motorcyclists die, another hurt in wrecks
Heberle parents demand information
School teams to be split up
Scholarship winners want to help others
CPS unveils two new designs
Calling all canoeists: Prove your skills at Paddlefest
West Chester committee urges recreation levy
Police sort information on river deaths
Parents who owe support offered catch-up chance
Death-row inmate asks for new trial
Obituary: Mary Louise Schum won design awards
Tristate A.M. report
Development of Ft. Mitchell farm OK'd
NKU grant may spur more health centers at schools
Video shows off city quirks
Needy parents on long waiting list for state child-care benefits
Ky. educators weigh state, federal testing at schools