USDA Offering Aid to Farmers Affected by Hurricane Irene (By Kevin Pearia at USDALoans.com)
Hurricane Irene has left much of the Northeast suffering from heavy flooding and devastating wind damage. The current estimate for the amount of damage done by the storm is around $10 to $15 billion, and footage of the cities affected explain the high price tag. However, very few are aware of the farmers and ranchers who have been affected by the storm. Because Hurricane Irene was the first major storm many Northeastern states have seen in over 100 years, many were incredibly unprepared. Crops have been flooded out, pasture land has been lost, and out buildings have been severely damaged, if not destroyed. Not to mention, the loss of home and livestock.
If your farm or ranch was damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Irene and the flooding that occurred afterward, you may just be eligible for assistance from the USDA. The department is offering a wide variety of assistance to farmers and ranches alike, and is beginning to distributes such aids. Types of aid that you may be able to secure include: Food Assistance; Farmer and Rancher Assistance; Housing Assistance; Community Assistance; Utility Assistance; Business Assistance
If you have questions about any assistance that you may be eligible, call your local Rural Development office if your needs relate to housing, your business, or your community. Homeowners can also contact a USDA loan specialist to determine their eligibility. For reports of produce and livestock, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center as they will be able to help you find the appropriate reparations. If you have debris that you wish to be removed from your property that was brought on by Hurricane Irene, call your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office.
All farms and ranches that suffered from damaged and are located in an area deemed a disaster area by the President of the United States may potentially be eligible for aid, emergency loans, and other types of assistance. If you have any questions regarding aid you may be eligible for, contact your Rural Department office immediately.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have suffered losses caused by this massive storm. USDA is ready to provide good, emergency assistance, and other resources to the affected areas. We continue to closely coordinate with many partners to meet the immediate and plan for the long-term needs of those affected by Hurricane Irene.” -Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary of Agriculture