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Counties approved for assistance following tornadoes

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The U.S. Small Business Administration approves disaster assistance to residents and businesses in several Mississippi counties affected by the severe weather and tornadoes, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

The declaration covers Noxubee County and the adjacent counties of Kemper, Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Winston.

Applicants will be able to apply in person at a Disaster Loan Outreach Center as soon as it is established, or they can apply online right now at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, by calling 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf or hard-of-hearing) or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is June 17. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Jan. 21, 2014.

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.

Loans to businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations will be available to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment and inventory.

According to the SBA, interest rates are as low as 1.750 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.875 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

The National Weather Service says the April 11 tornado that traveled northeast through Kemper and Noxubee counties and into Alabama’s Pickens County had a 68 mile-track.

The Weather Service’s Jackson office says peak storm winds were 145 mph. The twister killed Carlos Madrigal, a Blue Mountain man, at Contract Fabricators Inc. north of DeKalb. The NWS summary also says it injured nine people.

The maximum width of the path was three-quarters of a mile.

The team that examined the path said that besides at Contract Fabricators, the worst damage included a destroyed home west of DeKalb, areas around Shuqualak where buildings were damaged and high-tension electrical lines were bent, and a radio tower near Prairie Point that crumpled to the ground. Thousands of trees were snapped or uprooted.

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