Federal loans made available to summer storm victims




Posted on September 4, 2014 at 1:50 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 4 at 1:53 AM

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -- Homeowners, renters, and small business owners affected by the severe storm on July 23rd will be able to apply for low-interest loans to assist them in paying for repairs.

Both Governor Jay Inslee and the U.S. Small Business Administration declared the storm on July 23rd was a disaster. As a result, the federal administration announced on Wednesday that businesses will be able to apply for loans up to $2 million and homeowners will be able to apply for loans up to $200,000 to assist in rebuilding. The loans would have interest rates as low as 2.2% with terms up to 30 years.

The loans will be available for homeowners, renters, and small business owners across counties in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

It was welcome news to Laurie Rasmussen, who lost thousands of dollars because of the storm. The severe winds knocked down nearly 50 trees and damaged RV's and cabins on the Eloika Lake resort she owns with her husband.

"Most of our pines snapped off, but that one uprooted," she said, speaking about the massive amount of damage.The federal loans are designed for people just like her.

Rasmussen and her husband are still waiting for insurance to come through, but said they are considering applying for one of the loans.

"I hope that it will work for us," Rasmussen said.  "And that we can apply for that and maybe get a little help because, for small businesses it's just, we lost all of April and September's income."

Cleanup is still far from over, even two months after the storms.

"We still have a lot of work to do," said Rasmussen. "Stumps to come out, rebuilding, lots of chipping still to do." 

Those affected by the storm who want to apply for one of the federal low-interest loans can apply online. There will also be a representative from the U.S. Small Business Administration present at the New Hope Resource Center in Colbert. That person will be available as early as 9:30 Thursday morning to assist people in applying for the loans.