Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Flood victims can still apply for help

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - Some Butler County victims of the June 14-15 flood might find out this week whether they will receive low-interest federal loans for uninsured damages.

So far, 55 property owners have applied for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration at the SBA's and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency's temporary disaster assistance office at Wilson Middle School in Hamilton.

"The SBA has not approved or declined any loan applications yet," she said. "But I would expect them to start later this week, said Ana Walraven, SBA loan officer at the disaster assistance center. "Our loan officers have been working overtime to process the applications."

The office opened July 1 and operated for three days last week. This week it's open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. It will operate at the middle school, 714 Eaton Ave., at least through Friday of next week, she said.

"We're seeing a steady flow of people every day," Walraven said. "But I know there are still a lot more flood victims out there who haven't come in yet."

More than 300 Butler County homes sustained flood damage. Flood victims from neighboring counties also can apply for SBA loans.

Those who don't qualify for SBA loans, which could be as high as $200,000, can apply for Ohio's individual assistance grants, which can't exceed $15,000. The Ohio EMA has received nine applications for these grants, said Kay Phillips, chief of Ohio EMA's disaster recovery branch.


E-mail skemme@enquirer.com

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