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Harris County tornado victims ...

Harris County tornado victims can now apply for federal aid

The federal government is now offering aid in Harris County and several other Southeast Texas communities that were impacted by a tornado that ripped across the region on Jan. 24. Tornado victims will be able to receive help from the U.S. Small Business Administration through its Physical Disaster and Economic Injury Disaster loan programs, Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news release Friday. 

Both businesses and residents can apply for these low-interest loans, added Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo in a statement on Twitter. One member of each household must be a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible. She directed online applicants to www.readyharris.org and disasterloanassistance.sba.gov for more information.

People can also apply in person, beginning Tuesday, March 21, at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the John Phelps Courthouse Annex at 101 S. Richey St., Suite F, Pasadena. Another location for applicants will soon be available in Deer Park, Hidalgo said.

“I know a lot of members of our community are still hurting from the tornado earlier this year. I hope folks apply for this aid and spread the word. I’m grateful to the Biden Administration for helping us move toward recovery, and we remain in touch with our affected communities and nonprofit partners to offer all the support that we can,” she wrote on Twitter.

Other eligible counties whose residents may seek aid include Orange, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Newton, and Waller, according to Abbott.

“The State of Texas will continue working nonstop to help homeowners and businesses receive the support needed to rebuild and recover from storm damage,” he said in part of his statement.

The tornado caused extensive damage earlier this year when it left thousands of Houstonians without power and temporarily shut down major roadways in the area. It generated winds around 110 miles per hour, at least, and marked the first time the National Weather Service has ever issued a “Tornado Emergency” for the Southeast Houston area, according to previous reports.