Finding flood relief for McCracken County

McCracken County Emergency Management Director Jerome Mansfield and Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle are planning to meet Tuesday morning to go over more than 110 cases reporting damage from flash flooding on July 7.

“In the morning we are going to tabulate those calls, look at the type of damage that's been reported, and then resubmit a report to the Kentucky Emergency Management Association for a consideration for forwarding to FEMA,” Mansfield said.

Mansfield says renters can possibly get assistance for their personal goods but, as far as fixing their apartments, that assistance can only go to business owners.

“FEMA cannot pay for everything and every loss, but they can assist with some losses occurred above what insurance would pay or if a person did not have insurance,” Mansfield said.

The Federal Emergency Management Association website shows housing assistance can include reimbursement for short term hotel expenses, money to rent a place to live for up to 18 months while your home is being repaired, money to repair damage to your home, or money to help you purchase a new home if your home is destroyed. 

Mansfield says FEMA doesn't have a specific number requirement for damaged homes or businesses to give assistance.

"FEMA looks at the magnitude of the impact on the locality, such as economic impact of displacement of people from their homes," Mansfield said.

He says FEMA also opens the doors for other assistance.

“The first damage survey report that we submitted was effective,” Mansfield said.

It qualified McCracken, Ballard, Carlisle, Graves, Livingston, and Marshall County for help from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“The administrator of the Small Businesses Administration in Washington has the legal ability to declare a disaster independently of FEMA and make available low interest loans to renters, homeowners, and business owners,” Mansfield said.

SBA’s customer service representatives are available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:

The McCracken County Paducah McCracken County Convention & Expo Center
The McKinley Room & The Van Buren Room
415 Park Avenue
Paducah, Kentucky 42001
Opens: Wednesday, July 29, 2015, at 8 a.m.
Hours: Weekdays, 8 a.m.
to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015: 10 a.m.
2 p.m.
Closed: Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015
Closing: Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 at 3 p.m.

“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, about 2.6 percent for nonprofit organizations, and about 1.68 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Sept. 22, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is April 25, 2016.

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