Assistance expected for March 18 storm victims
by James Phillips
Apr 21, 2013 | 800 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker County officials are expecting Gov. Robert Bentley to announce Monday that disaster assistance has been approved for the county based on damage assessments from the March 18 storms.

Assistance will be in the form of low-interest rate loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“We have been in talks with the SBA, and we are just waiting on Gov. Bentley to sign the disaster declaration, which we think he will do Monday,” Walker County EMA Director Johnny Burnette said Friday afternoon.

A similar declaration for disaster assistance was made by Bentley in early April for several counties, primarily DeKalb and Etowah. Burnette said initial assessments in Walker County didn’t meet the criteria set by SBA, but the county now qualifies for the assistance.

“Sometimes you just have some folks who are late coming forward with damage,” he said.

Burnette said he expected the SBA would set up shop in Walker County at some point this week.

“We don’t know exactly when yet,” he said. “That will be determined once the governor signs the declaration. We do know they will set up in the multi-purpose room at the Jasper Police Department.”

Richard Daigle, an SBA public information representative, confirmed Friday the group should release information early this week on how Walker County residents can sign up for assistance.

Homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations that qualify for assistance will have several options from SBA, including home disaster loans, business physical disaster loans and economic injury disaster loans.

For more information on SBA, visit www.sba.gov.