Disaster relief funds are made available

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Photo above: A woman walks through a Beaufort neighborhood after Tropical Storm Irma hit Beaufort County. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

Staff reports

Sixteen South Carolina counties were recently declared major disaster areas, including Beaufort County. That means more federal aid to supplement Tropical Storm Irma recovery efforts is being made available.

For individuals, the Small Business Administration has assigned a disaster declaration to Beaufort and Jasper counties following Irma. 

Businesses and residents of Beaufort and Jasper counties, as well as Colleton and Hampton counties, are eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration in the form of low-interest disaster loans. 

These loans are available through Dec. 4. To learn more and apply, visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/hurricane-irma.

Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Program is being made available to local governments, state agencies, eligible private nonprofit organizations and electric cooperatives that submit Requests for Public Assistance. 

This program is not available to individuals.

SC Gov. Henry McMaster submitted a formal disaster declaration request on Sept. 28 following damage assessments from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, affected electric co-operatives and local governments.

State and affected local governments are now eligible to apply for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the approved costs under certain categories such as debris removal and road repair related to the storm.