Financial help for May flooding victims

ELYRIA -- The Small Business Administration is opening a Disaster Loan Assistance Center in Lorain County this week to help those affected by flooding during May storms.

"From what we can tell, this is the worst flooding we've had in a number of years," explains Tom Kelley, the Lorain County Emergency Management / Homeland Security director. "I've been here 25 years. It's the worst I've seen, especially in the cities of Lorain and North Ridgeville, where we had verified flash floods, where people had to be rescued out of their vehicles and their homes, too."

SBA will offer assistance with filling out low-interest loan applications. Kelley says the payments can be spread over dozens of years. Those who qualify can receive up to $200,000 for structural damage and $40,000 for contents. The money is available to homeowners, renters, businesses and most private nonprofit organizations.

Kelley says he's been getting a lot of calls from people interested in finding out about the opportunity.

"I just spoke to a lady this morning. She lost just about everything except her bed and has no money to be able to pay it back," he says. "So hopefully she'll be able to go through the process. We have three or four homes that were completely made unlivable, the foundations were washed out from under the houses and they'll probably have to be rebuilt."

Kelley says the loans are also available to people who live in counties that touch the Lorain County border, like Cuyahoga, Medina, Ashland, Huron and Erie counties.

RELATED STORY: Storm-damaged Ohio counties can get federal loans

The center will operate out of The Gates Building at 320 Gateway Blvd. N. on the third floor in Elyria.

Hours are:

If interested, bring identification, your Social Security number and, if you own a business, a copy of your tax filing from last year.


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