September 2, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
77°F
test

Fed loans available for flood repairs

ELYRIA — Severe storms that ripped through the county Aug. 7 caused enough damage to qualify residents and business owners for low-interest federal loans to help repair damage caused by the storm.

Homeowners and renters, whose property was damaged by the storms, are eligible for loans through the Small Business Administration of up to $200,000. The loans carry an interest rate of  3.1 percent, said SBA spokesman Michael Lampton.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations can apply for loans of up to $1.5 million, which covers machinery, equipment and inventory. The interest rate on business loans is 4 percent.

Lampton said his department began an assessment of Lorain and Cuyahoga counties the day of the storm. To qualify for the federal loan assistance, an area must have at least 25 homes or businesses with more than 40 percent damage.

Lorain sustained the heaviest damage in the county with 40 apartments taking water damage and streets and cars flooding. A tree also fell on a house, Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Alice Webber said.

Webber said several basements in Sheffield Lake and Avon Lake also flooded.

“We urge everybody to at least try to apply,” said Tom Kelley, director of the Emergency Management Agency. “There are certain restrictions they will explain to you when you talk to them on the phone. It’s not often that we can offer assistance for flooding because we’re never able to meet the criteria.”

The SBA has set up a loan outreach center in Parma City Hall to help residents of Cuyahoga and Lorain counties apply for the loans.

Anyone who sustained damage can apply from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the City Hall office, 611 Ridge Road in Parma. The office also will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.  The application deadline is Oct. 15. For information, call (800) 659-2955.

Contact Ben Norris at 329-7155 or metro@chroniclet.com.