Madison (WQOW) - Some assistance could be coming for small business owners in northwestern counties who were affected during mid-May's tornado.
On Thursday, Gov. Scott Walker asked the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to view tornado damage and meet with local and state officials in Barron and Rusk counties. The information gathered could be used to request federal, low-interest loans for homeowners, renters and businesses from the SBA.
News 18 reported on May 16 when the EF-3 tornado tore through portions of Barron and Rusk counties, killing one person at the Prairie Lake Estates mobile park, near Chetek, and injuring 25 others. Several private properties and businesses, including six, Jennie-O owned turkey barns, were damaged.
Gov. Walker, said in a press release, he knows many homeowners and businesses are still trying to recover from the devastating tornado. “Damage estimates indicate more than $7 million in damage was sustained to the private sector in Barron and Rusk counties. We want to make sure we can provide disaster aid to help these families and businesses get back on their feet quickly and requesting an SBA damage assessment is another important step in that process," Walker said.
The tornado traveled more than 80 miles and damaged more than 70 homes and six businesses in Barron County, as well as 33 other homes near the Conrath area in Rusk County.
Walker declared a state of emergency for Barron, Rusk and Jackson counties following tornadoes and damaging storms in mid-May.