Representatives from the Small Business Administration will continue taking applications through Thursday at the Jonesborough courthouse from local residents affected by a flood earlier this month, but there will still be time to ask for help.
“Our people are going to be on site until Aug. 30,” said Richard Daigle, public affairs specialist for the SBA. After that, residents will have to apply by mail, online or by calling the administration’s toll-free phone number, he said.
The final deadline to apply for assistance — which could come through an SBA low-interest loan or any number of grants available from local and regional funding — is Oct. 15, he said.
More than 100 homes were damaged and 54 completely destroyed Aug. 5 when a heavy downpour dumped four to six inches of rain in about an hour on the region.
Several area creeks couldn’t handle the runoff and overflowed into streets and homes and across farmland. Much of the damage occurred along a stretch of Dry Creek Road, including Buffalo Mountain Camp, which sustained around $3 million in damage.
No one was injured during the flood, but at least one resident on Dry Creek lost a number of animals, including 11 miniature horses. Several areas in Johnson City also had significant damage.
Gov. Bill Haslam issued a disaster declaration, but the damage wasn’t enough to trigger federal help through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge said last week the recovery in Washington County will be a local effort with resources like the SBA low-interest loans and grants from several different private organizations to help residents recover.
Eldridge said residents and businesses need to apply for assistance through the SBA whether or not they think they will qualify. The loan-application process will serve as the qualification criteria for grants that are available on a needs-based scale.
Information on all the resources available can be accessed on the county’s website at www.washingtoncountytn.org. To apply to the SBA after Thursday, go to www.sba.gov or call 800-659-2955.