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Federal aid coming to parts of Michigan hit hard by flooding in May

Genesee County residents hard hit by a May flood will soon get some help from the federal government.

More than 5 inches of rain fell on parts of Genesee County on May 3 and 4. 

More than 1,700 homes and businesses were damaged by the resulting flood.

Gov. Rick Snyder initially asked the Obama Administration for a Presidential Disaster Declaration. But Federal Emergency Management Agency officials turned down the request.  They said the flood damage did not amount to more than the state and local governments, and local agencies could handle it.

The governor’s office tried again. This time asking the Small Business Administration to declare the area eligible for disaster assistance.  

This week, the SBA approved the request. The declaration covers Genesee and parts of six other Michigan counties.

That means homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations can apply for low interest loans to repair or replace real estate, personal property, equipment and other assets that have been damaged or destroyed.

A temporary disaster recovery center will be set up to provide one-on-one assistance for residents seeking help.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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