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Morgan County storm victims, businesses invited to apply for disaster loans

DECATUR, Ala. - People are still cleaning up their properties after heavy straight-line winds ripped through the area on April 3. Mayor Tab Bowling said the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) is now accepting applications for financial aid.

Applying for financial aid

The Disaster Recovery Team is reviewing all applications to determine the amounts each home needs.

VOAD will have representatives in the area to ensure the repair work is done by licensed contractors who have a valid building permit in Decatur. Then, the building department will ensure the work is done to satisfaction before all payments are made to the contractors.

"A contractor will not receive funds until the work has been inspected," Mayor Bowling said. "So, there's no monies up front."

Donating to victims

The United Way of Morgan County is accepting donations for storm relief. People can give online. You are asked to mention "VOAD" or "Disaster Relief" in the special instructions box.

If you want to send a check, make it out to "United Way/VOAD." The mailing address is United Way of Morgan County, PO Box 1058, Decatur, AL 35602.

"Of course as you know many of our residents suffered significant damage to their homes," Mayor Bowling said.

Also, Governor Kay Ivey approved the Small Business Administration's (SBA) request for disaster assistance for Morgan and surrounding counties on Wednesday. The loans cover Morgan, Cullman, Lawrence, Limestone Madison and Marshall. They are for homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations.

Loan qualifications

  • Home Disaster Loans: Renters and homeowners alike may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars, appliances, etc., damaged or destroyed in the storms. Homeowners may apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence to its pre-disaster condition.
  • Business Physical Disaster Loans: Loans of up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, nonprofit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans: If a small business or private, nonprofit organization has suffered economic injury, regardless of physical damage, and is located in an SBA-declared disaster area.