Some farms and businesses in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties will now qualify for low-interest loans to help pay for some flood damage.
These three and a number of other New York counties have been declared disaster areas by the federal Department of Agriculture, qualifying them for loans both to repair damage and to make up for losses in livestock and because they couldn't plant crops, according to U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh.
In addition, some small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and certain nonprofit groups will qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which can be used both to repair physical damage and make up for economic losses. These are only available to businesses that are deemed unable to find credit elsewhere.
The federal government has twice turned down New York's application to be included in the Individual Assistance program, which would have provided more aid and also help for flooded homeowners. Owens said another application for a low-interest loan program for homeowners is pending before the Small Business Administration.
The eastern Adirondacks were pummeled by flooding in late April and early May, when heavy rains and snowmelt saturated the ground and caused Lake Champlain and the Saranac, Raquette and AuSable rivers to spill over their banks.