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Watch now: $808,400 in fed loans paid out for McLean County flooding

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Attending a press conference Wednesday at the McLean County Law and Justice Center to talk about flood damage are, from left, Patrol Operations Commander Chad Witkowski, McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage, state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, Congressman Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and McLean County Emergency Management Agency Acting Director Cathy Beck.

Custom Drone Solutions of Bloomington overflew the flooding in Downs.

BLOOMINGTON — Loans valued at $808,400 have been approved for McLean County residents whose homes took flood damage after heavy rains this summer.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said at a press conference Wednesday that 23 loans were granted by the federal Small Business Administration and another 15 are still being processed.

SBA loan assistance was granted on July 26 for summer flooding damages in McLean County. People have until Sept. 24 to apply for help.

“This opened up the ability for residents who had been impacted by the disaster to apply for aid in the form of low-interest loans and long-term loans for households and businesses,” Davis said.

On June 25-26, over 10 inches of rain came down on parts of McLean County, leaving hundreds of homes damaged by water after severe surface flooding and backups from city-owned sewer systems. 

The Pantagraph reported over 500 damage claims have been sent to the city of Bloomington and no residents have yet to receive compensation.

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Tony Julian's brother, Mike, and his son, James, help clean up flooding from the Kickapoo Creek in Downs on June 26.

McLean County didn’t qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance. FEMA public assistance also helps pay for repairing roads and other infrastructure.

Davis on Wednesday called that “disappointing” and said an "unfair formula" leaves out downstate Illinois because most of the state’s population lives in the northeast corner. He called for FEMA to consider more localized disaster impacts.

Out of 66 applications sent to the SBA, that leaves 28 that have been denied, Beck said. That works out to an average of about $35,000 per approved loan. 

“It is a loan, so unfortunately, there’s going to be a minimum, things that are required because they want their money back,” said Cathy Beck, acting director of the McLean County Emergency Management Agency, on Wednesday. “It is less than, lower credit scores, less income required than if they were to go to a traditional bank.”

State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, during the Wednesday press conference said neighboring Ford County is going through a similar situation seen by McLean County in June. Hundreds were evacuated to Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Middle School after storms dropped over 7 inches of rain, flooding several homes and apartment buildings, earlier this month. 

A damage assessment is underway.

Davis said if someone has been turned down for SBA assistance, whether for income requirements or other reasons, and they don’t have the ability to recover, they should call his or Brady’s offices.

“We’ll see if there are any other resources locally, be it private, or more private-related resources that can be of assistance,” he said. “One thing I know about McLean County and Bloomington Normal, there are a lot of people who have nothing to do with the federal or state and local government who are always willing to help those in need.”

Davis and Brady each thanked staff and volunteers who worked with the county EMA on documenting the damage.

“You helped with the damage assessments that actually made the SBA assistance possible,” Davis said. 

People who are still looking to apply for SBA assistance can call 1-800-659-2955 or go online to disasterloan.sba.gov.

Pantagraph coverage of June flooding

A recap of coverage about flooding across Central Illinois from The Pantagraph.

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The watch stretches through most of Central Illinois, covering Christian, De Witt, Logan, Macon, Mason, Menard, Sangamon, Shelby, Tazewell and Woodford counties. It also is in place for East and West Central Illinois, including Cass, Champaign, Douglas, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Scott and Vermilion counties. 

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