Flagstaff residents, small businesses offered SBA loans for monsoon destruction at low interest rates

It's Sept. 30, and that means, in theory, the end of the monsoon season, but for those in Flagstaff, the monsoon caused damage that'll take some time to recover from.

No place has been hit harder than Flagstaff by flash floods and wildfire burn scars being overtaken by torrential rain.

Now, financial help is on the way, and the Flagstaff area is asking for a lot of help from Uncle Sam by way of federal grants for flood improvement projects.

The SBA is offering low-interest loans to help residents repair and rebuild their homes lost to the monsoon.

‘You’re always on edge’

After more than a dozen floods in four months, concrete walls around homes started to make sense to keep flood waters out.

"You just want to live a normal life, but you’re always on edge about the next flood happening and that’s for everybody in this neighborhood and the other affected communities," Chase Wilson said, a flood victim, several times over.

But, residents and businesses are somewhat relieved to know help is available.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) set up shop in a makeshift office to help locals, offering loans with rates as low as 1.7%. Money is set aside for home and business owners, as well as renters.


The money is meant to replace and repair flood-damaged property and possessions. Soon, however, the money will dry up.

"Disaster Loan Applications are processed in order to receive, and right now with all the dramatic disasters on the East Coast, that line is going to get pretty long," explained Louise Porter with the SBA.

Coconino County is also asking the Feds for big bucks.

It's requested $140 million for flood imprisonment projects over the next three to five years. That's on top of the $7 million already spent this summer on things like sandbags.

"I think we have a very good plan that will have a positive impact. But if we don’t get that federal money, it’s going to be … it’s going to be very difficult to move forward," said Lucinda Andreani with the Coconino County Flood District.

Smaller projects that the county can afford are already underway.

"After this, I know my neighbors' names. I know who they are, they know who I am, they know they can reach out and have no hesitation, and I’m the same," Wilson said.

The SBA office in Flagstaff closes at the end of Thursday, Oct. 6.

The deadline to finish the no-obligation paperwork is Nov. 18. So far only 14 people have applied.

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