Low-Interest Disaster Loans Now Available for Forada Tornado Victims

FORADA, Minn. — Dozens of Minnesota families affected by a series of tornadoes this summer have new help available to them.

Two months ago, nine tornadoes swept through the state. The strongest, an EF-2, crashed into the town of Forada in Douglas Countydamaging at least 100 homes and businesses.

“We had an 80-foot tree going through the middle of the house,” said Dave Waletzko, whose mother, Donna, lives in Forada.

Waletzko works several hours a day in an effort to get his mother’s life back on track.

“Basically, nothing has been done on the property yet,” he said.

AFTER: ‘We’re all family’: Residents of little Forada still working to rebuild a month after devastating tornado

Donna wasn’t inside when the tornado hit. She now lives in an apartment in Alexandria and is waiting for insurance and a structural engineer’s report on whether or not the roof can be repaired.

“Insurance is tough,” Waletzko said. “We learned that we have to learn to dance with the insurance company, and then you have to learn their dance.”



The Waletzkos were thrilled to see how their experience turned out on Monday when they applied for a new low-interest relief loan from the federal government’s Small Business Administration, which has a temporary office set up in Alexandria.

“It’s for anything that insurance doesn’t cover, but people don’t have to wait for their insurance to settle to apply for a disaster loan,” said Laurie Dana of the Disaster Assistance Office. disaster from the SBA.

Homeowners can get up to $240,000 in loans to repair homes and replace items lost in disasters. Interest rates are below 2%. Click here for more information on the app.

Julie Anderson, the county’s director of emergency management, predicts that any semblance of a full recovery for the city will be several months away.

“We have incredible damage,” Anderson said. “Thousands and thousands of trees are being cut down, and whether or not your main residence has been destroyed, some are badly damaged. It will be a very, very long process.”

The State of Minnesota also offers repayable loans to flood and tornado victims in addition to any available insurance and federal funds.

Contact Jon Ford with Douglas County Housing and Redevelopment Authority at 320-762-3848 to learn more.

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