Feds offer aid to SW Baltimore dwellers and merchants to deal with Memorial Day flash flooding

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The outside of a flooded basement unit at the Frederick Manor apartments on May 27. Photo by Ethan McLeod.

Nearly two months out from a Memorial Day weekend flash flood that wreaked havoc on parts of Southwest Baltimore City, Howard and Baltimore counties, the feds are offering financial aid to those whose properties were destroyed or damaged.

A release from the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management says the low-interest loans are available thanks to funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Businesses and nonprofits will be allowed to borrow up to $2 million to repair buildings or machinery and replace inventory, equipment and other items. The SBA is also offering Economic Injury Disaster Loans for small businesses that need working capital, regardless of whether their properties were damaged.

Homeowners will be eligible to borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged real estate, and renters and homeowners can borrow up to $40,000 to fix or replace damaged personal property.

The interest rates are 3.61 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofits and 1.94 percent for homeowners and renters, all for up to 30 years.

The same financing options are being offered across Maryland, including in Baltimore and Howard counties. The May 27 storm destroyed homes, businesses and cars along a stretch of Frederick Avenue in the city, flooded homes in Catonsville and, perhaps most infamously, submerged areas of Main Street in old Ellicott City for the second time in two years.

Baltimore Emergency Management Director David McMillan had said in early June that estimated damages along the low-lying area of Frederick Avenue, including Beechfield, were more than $2 million, which was enough to warrant federal aid.

The SBA is opening Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to help residents fill out applications and answer any questions. The one in Baltimore will be located at Stillmeadow Evangelical Free Church, located at 5110 Frederick Ave., from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4. The outreach center will close at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Applications are also available online, and locals can ask for remote assistance by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or emailing [email protected]. Applications for physical property damage assistance are due Sept. 24, and application for assistance with economic injury are due April 25, 2019.

Ethan McLeod
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