(Oct. 10, 2009) Governor Phil Bredesen today announced the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has granted his request for a disaster declaration for Hamilton and the contiguous counties in Tennessee and Georgia following severe storms and flooding in September.
“This is welcome news for Tennesseans in these counties,” said Bredesen. “The ability to access low-interest loans through SBA will help those impacted by the heavy rains and flooding in September to speed their recovery efforts.”
A preliminary damage survey found that Hamilton County suffered more than $455,000 in damages to homes and businesses throughout the county. There were 90 homes with major damages and 50 homes with minor damages. Also, there were 26 businesses with minor damages and three businesses with major damages. More than 31 homes and businesses experienced uninsured damages in excess of 40 percent or more of their fair replacement value. One person was killed when he was swept away by rushing flood waters.
An SBA disaster declaration makes homeowners and businesses affected by the disaster eligible for low interest loans. In this case, the rate for homeowners will be 2.75 percent or 5.5 percent, depending on whether they can get credit elsewhere, and business rates range from 4 to 6 percent.
SBA declarations make victims in adjacent counties eligible for aid as well, so the declaration includes the Tennessee counties of Bledsoe, Bradley, Marion, Meigs, Rhea and Sequatchie, and the Georgia counties of Catoosa, Dade, Walker and Whitfield. Those affected have until December 21, 2009, to apply for relief from physical damage and until July 21, 2010, to apply for relief from economic injury caused by the September 16 storms and flooding