NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has granted his disaster declaration request for Washington and its surrounding counties after severe storms and flash flooding occurred Aug. 5, 2012.
The declaration includes Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties, and an SBA disaster declaration makes homeowners and businesses affected by the disaster eligible for low-interest loans.
“This is good news and will provide a measure of relief and recovery to the individuals whose homes and businesses were damaged earlier this month in Upper East Tennessee,” Haslam said.
The interest rates for homeowners without credit elsewhere will be 1.688 percent. Loans for homeowners with credit elsewhere will be 3.375 percent. Interest rates for businesses will be four percent for those without credit elsewhere and six percent for businesses that have credit elsewhere.
Additionally, the SBA will open a temporary office on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, in the, Washington County Courthouse, 100 E. Main St. in Jonesborough, to help homeowners and businesses with the disaster loan process. More information on SBA disaster loans is at: http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans.
On Aug. 5, a severe storm front moved across Tennessee cause numerous severe straight line winds and flash flooding, which continued through Aug. 6, 2012. The following weekend, teams from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, SBA and local emergency management officials conducted a preliminary damage assessment in Carter, Unicoi and Washington counties. In Washington County, more than 25 uninsured homes and businesses experienced damage in excess of 40 percent of their replacement value. This damage was enough to qualify the county for an SBA disaster declaration.
Those affected have until Oct. 15, 2012, to apply for relief from the physical damage and until May 16, 2013, to apply for relief from economic injury.