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Monday, March 21st, 2011

Counties eligible for flood assistance

Mercer/Auglaize

By Amy Kronenberger
Residents in Auglaize County and its contiguous counties are now eligible for assistance as a result of flash flooding on Feb. 27 and 28.
Ohio Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Nancy Dragani requested and received a Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster declaration for Auglaize County. This declaration enables residents and business owners who received uninsured flood damage to apply for long-term, low-interest loans. Marion County also received this designation.
"Ohio residents have suffered extensive damages and loss of property as a result of the heavy rains and flooding that inundated our state a couple of weeks ago," Dragani said. "These low-interest loans can help residents and business owners as they continue to clean up and recover from these storms."
For a county to be eligible for SBA assistance, there must have been a minimum of 25 properties with major damage, Mercer EMA Director Mike Robbins said. Mercer County reported 21 properties, but residents are eligible because Mercer County borders Auglaize County, he said.
Robbins said major damage to a home is defined as two feet of water in the house and above the floorboard in a trailer.
Anyone in Auglaize or Mercer counties who received uninsured flood damage between Feb. 27 and March 8 may apply for an SBA loan by calling 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired) or by going online at www.sba.gov and clicking the "Disaster Assistance" icon.
State representatives from the Ohio Department of Insurance will be available for assistance 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and March 28-31 at the St. Marys Senior Center, the temporary SBA disaster loan outreach center, at 610 Indiana Avenue, St. Marys.
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