Disaster recovery centers open in western NC counties following - | WBTV Charlotte

Disaster recovery centers open in western NC counties following severe storms

Steve Ohnesorge/ WBTV Steve Ohnesorge/ WBTV
WATAUGA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Multiple disaster recovery centers are open in several western North Carolina counties aimed to help residents who were affected by the severe storms that swept through the area in October. 

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that the centers opened in Caldwell and Wilkes counties. The two centers are joining a disaster recovery center loan outreach center, which had been previously announced in Watauga County. 

Cooper released this statement:

“The storm damaged a number of our mountain communities. While the majority of the damage was in the Boone area, we realize residents in other areas need help, too. That’s why we are opening recovery centers in other areas.”

The governor had previously issued a state disaster declaration for Watauga County. Cooper said that North Carolina received a a Small Business Administration disaster declaration which would allow for "low-interest loans and some grants available to home and business owners and renters in impacted areas."

A spokesperson with the governor said Watauga County was the only county that "met the threshold" for the declaration, but said residents and business owners in Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Wilkes counties can apply for federal assistance through SBA. 

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon released this statement:

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of North Carolina with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans. Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.” 

The SBA only has staff located at the Watauga County Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the Emergency Operations Center on Hodges Gap Road - Building 9. A spokesperson with SBA said the staff can "assist businesses, homeowners and renters with completing and submitting  a low-interest disaster loan application for their recovery needs." 

The center opened on Tuesday and will close on Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. The center is open Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

SBA’s North Carolina District Director Lynn Douthett released this statement:

“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets."

The center located in Caldwell County opened Tuesday at 11 a.m. and is also expected to close on Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. The center is closed on Sunday but is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., including Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The disaster recovery center in Caldwell County is located at the Grace Chapel Fire Department on Grace Chapel Road. 

The center in Wilkes County opened Wednesday at 11 a.m. and is expected to close Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. The center is open from Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

A spokesperson for Cooper released this statement regarding loans for residents, homeowners and small business owners:

Loans up to $200,000 are available through the SBA to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed structures. Homeowners and renters also are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property such as clothing, appliances, etc.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million for physical damage. Working capital loans are also available to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. Interest rates are as low as 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 3.385 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

To supplement the SBA loan program, Governor Cooper also signed a Type I State Disaster Declaration for Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Wilkes counties. This declaration allows for individual assistance grants to homeowners who do not meet the qualifications for the low-interest federal SBA loans. These state grants can provide assistance in repairing damaged homes and replacement of personal property.

Flash flooding in Boone caused major damage to units in at least three different apartment complexes along Cedar Creek near Meadowview. The area is between the Boone Mall and the Walmart shopping areas.

Town officials had to temporarily order people in flooded apartments to get out. At least 60 people were involved and most of those who were affected were students at Appalachian State University.

According to a spokesperson with Blue Ridge Energy, over 12,000 customers were affected by power outages in Caldwell, Watauga and Alleghany counties following the storms. 

A Tornado Warning was issued for Rutherford, Lincoln, Alexander, Caldwell and Cleveland counties for some time on Oct. 23. Stanly, Union, Mecklenburg and Watauga counties were under a Tornado Watch. 

The SBA said the filing to deadline to return applications for property damage is Jan. 22, 2018 and the deadline to return applications for economic injury is Aug. 21, 2018. 

If you need to apply for a disaster loan through SBA, you can go here

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