tornado damage

Last week, 28 counties across Ohio became eligible for disaster assistance through designations from USDA and Gov. Mike DeWine. Damage from flooding, severe storms, derecho events and tornadoes earlier this year prompted the designations.

Federal designations

USDA designated Brown and Clermont counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas after receiving excessive rainfall from May 1 through June 16, 2022. This natural disaster designation allows the USDA Farm Service Agency to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters through emergency loans. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

In addition to Brown and Clermont counties, their contiguous counties are also eligible for funding. Those counties include Adams, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland and Warren.

State-level funding

From the state level, DeWine authorized the use of the State Disaster Relief Program to help several counties impacted by severe storms in February, May, June and July 2022.

The SDRP is a reimbursement program that can be used in instances where storm damage amounts do not meet the threshold for federal assistance. The program is intended to provide supplemental state assistance to local governments and eligible nonprofit organizations for costs associated with debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent work.

The following counties impacted by flooding that occurred Feb. 17 and 18 may qualify for assistance: Gallia, Harrison and Jefferson.

The following counties impacted by severe storms that occurred from May 6 to 8 may qualify for assistance: Monroe and Muskingum.

The following counties impacted by the derecho that occurred from June 13 through 17 may qualify for assistance: Ashland, Coshocton, Guernsey, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Logan, Meigs, Monroe, Morrow, Noble, Richland, Tuscarawas, Vinton, Washington and Wayne.

Clermont County may qualify for assistance as a result of tornadoes July 6.The SDRP is authorized for counties whose damages meet a countywide per capita indicator.

The governor’s authorization allowing the use of the fund allows the Ohio Emergency Management Agency to request the funding from the Ohio Controlling Board.

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