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BELFRY, Ky. (WYMT) – New Year’s Eve fireworks have been toned down this year for many people in the Pike County area after floodwaters poured in, leaving parts of the Belfry area underwater on the first morning of January.
“You know, it’s really hard, to have been there from the time we rescue people out of the houses – when the water comes up around their houses or in their houses – until the time you come back, do a damage assessment once the water goes down,” said Pike County Emergency Management Director Nee Jackson.
After months of work and rebuilding, many homeowners, tenants and businesses in affected areas are still trying to plan or pay for the fixes. So, in an effort to help, the US Small Business Administration stepped in, offering low-interest loans to qualified applicants in the hardest-hit regions.
“You know, it’s not like saying ‘there’s nothing we can do.’ There’s no guarantee that everyone qualifies for it, but at least there’s a program out there that can potentially help people in need.
Applications for assistance have been opened online and through next week, SBA workers are setting up a Kentucky Disaster Loan Awareness Center at the Belfry Volunteer Fire Department. Jackson said the loans could provide homeowners with up to $200,000 in loans, with an interest rate of 1.43% over the next 30 years, could help homeowners and renters with up to $40,000 $ in replacement of personal items and help local businesses that were affected by the unexpected flooding. This winter.
“I’ve talked to people who have talked about maxing out credit cards and talking about people who might go bankrupt. It will give them the opportunity, if they’re eligible, to be able to get relief and possibly getting payments where they can manage it and it’s not a big burden for them,” Jackson said.
Since being informed that the county would not be eligible for FEMA funding, after filing a second application, he said the department has been actively looking for other options for specialized circumstances or for those who may not. be eligible for SBA assistance. Yet with the help he sees coming, he hopes there will be an answer for all who need it.
“There are certain things that are available and if people don’t apply they’ll never know if they’re going to qualify,” Jackson said.
Affected people do not need to visit the Help Center, since the applications are open online. But anyone who wants to follow the process or find out if they qualify can visit the fire department until June 2.
The space is open Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No one will be available on Memorial Day, but they will return Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday is the last day to receive application support, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Pike County Emergency Management will continue to post other possible assistance programs on its Facebook page.
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