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Don Davis, State Capitol Bureau, Published July 10 2010

More federal disaster assistance OK’d

ST. PAUL – Businesses and individuals affected by last month’s storms may seek low-interest federal loans to rebuild and repair buildings.

The Small Business Administration has approved Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s request for the disaster declaration.

“There is much work to do, but this additional federal assistance will help Minnesotans recover from the severe storms that hit the state last month,” Pawlenty said.

On Friday, Pawlenty urged Minnesotans who need help to contact the Small Business Administration or Federal Emergency Management Agency. Representatives of the organizations will be at the Wadena National Guard armory 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Sunday and Monday.

The SBA will consider granting low-interest loans to residents and businesses in Wadena, Otter Tail, Becker, Cass, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Todd and Wilkin counties.

Pawlenty sent a letter to the SBA Wednesday requesting the disaster declaration. Last week, the federal government announced other aid would be available to Faribault, Freeborn, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Polk, Steele and Wadena counties.

Last month’s storms, mostly a heavy June 17 tornado outbreak, caused more than $35.5 million damage to homes, farmsteads, public infrastructure and businesses. An estimated 842 homes were damaged.

Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.