Darlington tornado leads Sanford to ask for SBA assistance

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - Relief could be on the way for those affected by the Darlington tornado, following a request by Gov. Mark Sanford Tuesday to implement the U.S. Small Business Administration's Disaster Loan Program to those who qualify.

In a letter to the Small Business Administration, Sanford certified at least 25 homes or businesses sustained a minimum of 40 percent uninsured loss. The damages have led Sanford to ask for Darlington County to be declared a disaster area.

Should the agency make the declaration, residents and business owners could benefit from the potential implementation of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Disaster Loan Program.

Officials with the Darlington County EMD estimate damages from the April 25 tornado topped $7 million, but did not qualify the area for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A final analysis of the EF-2 tornado from the National Weather Service revealed the twister packed winds of 130 mph and was on the ground for approximately 17 miles.

Officials said the tornado touched down on East Seven Pines Street at 7:40 p.m., four miles east of Oats. According to damage accounts, the twister lifted and touched down on five different occasions.

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