Flash flood damage in Berks prompts SBA to declare disaster

Low-interest loans available for homes, businesses

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Federal help is on the way to homeowners and business owners in Berks County that suffered significant damage from flash flooding in June.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved his request to declare a disaster in Berks County as a result of damage caused by severe storms on June 20 and 21.

"Flash flooding last month devastated dozens of homes and businesses," Wolf said. "We appreciate that the SBA recognized the need for low-interest loans for those affected."

Homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the storms may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans through the SBA Disaster Loan Programs.

Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. SBA regulations permit loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.

Businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million to restore damaged or destroyed buildings, inventory, equipment and assets.

The SBA has established a Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the Spring Township fire station at 2301 Monroe Avenue. Representatives will be on hand to issue loan applications, answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process, and help individuals complete their application.

The hours of operation will be Thursday, Friday and next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.; and next Thursday, August 1, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Anyone unable to visit the center in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's customer service center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or by e-mailing Loan applications can also be downloaded at

The deadline to return applications for physical property damage is September 20, 2019. The deadline to return economic injury disaster loan applications is April 22, 2020.

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