Governor Seeking Disaster Declaration For Howard Co.

It would make low interest loans available for those who suffered losses in the July floods.

Reisterstown, Md. (KM)  Maryland officials are seeking federal aid to repair the damage in Ellicott City following last month’s flash flooding. Governor Larry Hogan has sent a letter to the US Small Business Administration, requesting a physical disaster declaration for Howard County.

“If approved, it would mean that residents of Howard County, and actually the contiguous counties around Howard, would be able to apply for low interest loans if they have had damages following the July 30th flooding,” says Chas Eby, a spokesman for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

The flooding last month inundated downtown Ellicott City with six-inches of water, and left two people dead.

Eby says last week, SBA and MEMA representatives joined local officials touring  Ellicott City to assess the damage for themselves. “We did that to make sure that there was enough evidence of damage and potentially interested residents and business owners to apply for these loans,” he says.

“We’ve seen reports of certainly Main Street in Ellicott City getting the brunt of the damage and really devastated by the fast moving waters that came through on July 30th,” Eby  says. “Some of the infrastructure in the area, but also businesses right along Main Street, and even some apartments above those businesses” were also damaged.

If the SBA approves Maryland’s application, Eby says the agency would set up an assistance center for applicants to learn more about the low interest loan program, and let them  make application at that location as well.