Md. gov. seeks disaster declaration for Ellicott City

WASHINGTON — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has asked the Small Business Administration for a disaster declaration for Howard County residents and businesses in Ellicott City where floodwaters ripped through the historic downtown leaving a trail of devastation.

If granted, the designation would pave the way for businesses, homeowners and renters to qualify for low-interest loans to aid in the recovery effort.

“Ellicott City’s residents and businesses need as much help as they can get — from private citizens and all levels of government as they begin to recover from this disastrous flood,” Hogan said in a written statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

Officials from Howard County, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and SBA staff have been working on assessing the damage caused by the July 30 storms.

Both flooding from the Patapsco River and flash flooding from waterways that wind through the town  contributed to the damage. Business owners and residents returned to begin cleaning up this weekend, but the Main Street area will be closed this week for engineering assessments.

The SBA’s assistance in disasters extends beyond those directly hit by physical damage. Businesses that have been hurt by road closures and evacuations are also eligible to seek loans for economic injury.

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