Federal assistance available for storm victims in Auglaize, Mercer counties

By Randy Ludlow - Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS — In the wake of an outbreak of 21 tornadoes that caused widespread damage across Ohio over Memorial Day weekend, President Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration making businesses and individuals in 10 counties eligible for federal assistance.

Gov. Mike DeWine, who sought the declaration from Trump last week, announced the the president’s action Tuesday morning.

DeWine said the designation “will help those working to rebuild their homes and their lives” in Auglaize, Darke, Greene, Hocking, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Muskingum, Perry and Pickaway counties.

The Dayton area and Celina, where a man was killed, suffered the most devastating damage amid the tornado outbreak May 27 and 28.

A preliminary damage assessment by state and federal officials found that 942 houses and other buildings were destroyed or suffered major damage while another 837 additional structures suffered minor damage.

The designation permits the U.S. Small Business Administration to make low-interest loans to businesses looking to rebuild and allows individuals to seek financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The state also apply for money for counseling for storm victims and unemployment assistance for those left without jobs.

Individuals and businesses suffering storm damage can register for FEMA assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).


By Randy Ludlow

Columbus Dispatch

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