UNIONTOWN (KDKA) — It was just three weeks ago when disaster struck in Fayette County.
A tornado touched down in Uniontown, and now the community is slowly bouncing back. Now, Gov. Tom Wolf is asking Washington DC to play a role in the recovery efforts.
Gov. Wolf is seeking a federal disaster declaration for parts of the Uniontown area. That would make low interest loans available, allowing affected homes and business owners to get back on their feet quicker.
There’s no free money involved, since the loans would have to be paid back, but at a lower interest rate.
“Any help would be good help. These people really need it, definitely,” resident Jay Stevens said.
Another Uniontown resident, Stacey Long, said, “Low interest loans, food, clothing, just anything. Anything at this point would help any of these families around here. Many of these people have little, small children, and it’s just, yeah, a lot of devastation around here.”
Dozens of homes and businesses were either damaged or destroyed in last month’s F1 tornado.
Fortunately, no one was killed. The most serious storm-related damage took place on the north and east sides of the city, roofs were blown off homes, and trees and power lines were blown down in the wake of the twister’s path of destruction.
In order for the damaged homes and businesses to qualify for the lower loans, their uninsured losses must total 40 percent or more of the building’s estimated market value.
Tracy Vanek, who works at a church called the Solid Rock Ministry, said, “That’s a very evident need right now. I think the opportunity being presented would be a tremendous help to those in this area. They just don’t have the finances or the funding to be able to get into other housing. A lot of them don’t have insurance.”
Gov. Wolf wants the government to act quickly on his request for those low interest loans. However, there’s no indication from Washington on when it will respond.