A Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster recovery center opened at the Orr’s Island Schoolhouse Wednesday, April 10. The center aims to assist citizens who faced damage to their personal and commercial property in January storms. Isabella Slocum / The Times Record

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has set up a disaster recovery center in Harpswell to provide Mainers with financial relief from damaging January storms. Workers from FEMA and the Small Business Administration are available to help citizens at the new walk-in center.

The center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Old Orr’s Island Schoolhouse, 1594 Harpswell Islands Road, Orr’s Island.

Those affected by the January storms may visit any center, regardless of where they live. Individuals who had physical damage to their home, personal property, business or nonprofit and reside in Cumberland, Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Waldo, Washington or York counties can apply for a low-interest loan from the SBA.

“People shouldn’t hesitate to reach out and get the help they deserve,” said Brian Beard, public affairs specialist for the SBA’s Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience. “We’re here to help them get back on their feet.”

The deadline to apply for SBA aid related to property damage is May 20.

The SBA team in the Orr’s Island disaster recovery center. Isabella Slocum / The Times Record

Small business owners and nonprofit organizations can also receive assistance if they had a drop in sales income due to indirect effects of the disaster.


People can apply for loans that provide working capital to cover monthly expenses until their business is back up to speed.

The deadline to apply for economic injury through SBA is Dec. 23.

Homeowners and businesses can also request an additional 30% of the total estimated damage to be used for improvements to prevent future damage. As many faced flooding in the January storms, residents can install a sump pump, change landscaping, or elevate a furnace and hot water heater so they are not as likely to get damaged by flood water come the next storm.

There is no cost to apply and no interest or payments for the first year of the loan. Beard said people should apply ahead of time, even if they’re unsure whether they will need the assistance or not. If offered a loan, applicants have two months to decide whether they want to accept it or not, and there is no cost to decline.

Based on the amount of estimated damage and your ability to repay, homeowners can borrow up to $500,000 for home damage. Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $100,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property, and businesses can borrow up to a total of $2 million for a combination of physical damage, mitigation and working capital.

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