Centers Open To Help Storm Survivors In Caldwell, Wilkes & Watauga

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Governor Roy Cooper on Tuesday announced that Disaster Recovery Centers will open this week to help Caldwell and Wilkes county residents who were affected by storms that struck in late October. The two centers join the already announced Disaster Loan Outreach Center that opens today in Watauga County to provide financial assistance to storm survivors.

“The storm damaged a number of our mountain communities,” said Governor Cooper. “While the majority of the damage was in the Boone area, we realize residents in other areas need help, too. That’s why we are opening recovery centers in other areas.”

Last week, Gov. Cooper issued a state disaster declaration for Watauga and surrounding counties and announced that the state had received a Small Business Administration disaster declaration. The declaration make low-interest loans and some grants available to home and business owners and renters in impacted areas.

High winds, tornadoes and floods struck these western counties on Oct. 23, downing trees, damaging homes and buildings and leaving extensive flooding in Boone. Watauga was the only county that met the threshold for SBA assistance, but residents and business owners in the surrounding counties of Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Wilkes can also apply for the federal assistance.

Caldwell County Disaster Recovery Centers
Grace Chapel Fire Department
4570 Grace Chapel Road
Granite Falls, NC 28630
Dates: Opens Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 11 a.m., closes Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m.
Hours: Monday – Fridays 9am – 6pm, Saturday 10 am to 2 pm, closed Sunday

Wilkes County Disaster Recovery Center
Wilkes County Office Building
110 North Street
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Dates: Opens Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 11 a.m., closes Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m.
Hours: Monday – Fridays 9am – 6pm, Saturday 10 am to 2 pm, closed Sunday

Watauga County Disaster Loan Outreach Center 
Emergency Operations Center
184 Hodges Gap Road – Building D
Boone, NC 28607
Dates: Opens Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 11 a.m., closes Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m.
Hours: Monday – Fridays 9am – 6pm, Saturday 10 am to 2 pm, closed Sunday

Loans up to $200,000 are available through the SBA to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed structures. Homeowners and renters also are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property such as clothing, appliances, etc.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million for physical damage. Working capital loans are also available to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. Interest rates are as low as 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 3.385 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.

To supplement the SBA loan program, Governor Cooper also signed a Type I State Disaster Declaration for Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Wilkes counties. This declaration allows for individual assistance grants to homeowners who do not meet the qualifications for the low-interest federal SBA loans. These state grants can provide assistance in repairing damaged homes and replacement of personal property.

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