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Rain Leaves SD With Approximately $40 Million In Damages

The heavy rain in December in San Diego County caused an estimated $40 million damage, a county Office of Emergency Services official said today.

The estimate is far above the threshold required by the federal government to be eligible for disaster assistance, said Leslie Luke, a program manager with the OES. The total includes all of the cities in the region and the unincorporated area.

The federal Small Business Administration announced this week that it plans to make low-interest loans available for individuals and businesses that sustained damage between Dec. 18 and Jan. 4. The damage would have to be verified by state and federal emergency officials.

"More than 200 San Diego homeowners and businesses have contacted the county regarding storm-related damage and economic losses," said Bill Horn, the chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Homeowners would be eligible for loans of up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged real estate, and up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal items. The interest rate, depending on a recipient's financial condition, could be as low as 2.25 percent.

Businesses, including non-profit organizations, could receive up to $2 million to recover assets. Nonprofit loan rates are as low as 3.5 percent, and private companies are 4 percent.

Lending is also available for projects that will safeguard against future damage.

The SBA can be contacted at (800) 659-2955 or online at disasterloan.sba.gov.ela.

Claims of property damage need to be filed by April 4, and for economic damage the deadline is Nov. 2.

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