Delaware seeks loans in wake of Hurricane Irene

Delaware’s governor is hoping to open up federal loans to those impacted in the First State by Hurricane Irene.

Gov. Jack Markell is requesting federal disaster status for Delaware that will make businesses, homeowners, state and local governments and non-profits eligible for two types of federal help in different parts of the state.

If granted, one type of loan would come from the Small Business Administration that would make businesses and building owners as well as homeowners and renters in New Castle and Kent Counties eligible for low-interest loans for repair and replacement. 

Markell also sent a request to the President Monday for a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance funding in Kent and Sussex Counties. This declaration would make state and local governments and certain private non-profits involved in storm response eligible to be reimbursed for 75 percent of response, rebuilding, and cleanup costs.

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“Delaware was relatively fortunate with regard to the damage wrought by Hurricane Irene,” Markell said, “but DEMA, working with other state agencies, the county and local governments and with representatives of both FEMA and SBA, have worked to identify enough damage to make some parts of the state eligible for some types of assistance,” Markell said.

Delaware did not reach a damage level in any county that would have allowed application for direct FEMA grants to owners of damaged homes, known as “individual assistance.” That threshold is 173 homes in each county destroyed or suffering major damage. The nearby states of Maryland and Virginia also did not meet the threshold for individual assistance, though other states with more extensive damage to homes from Hurricane Irene did.

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