COLUMBUS -- State and local officials met by phone Saturday to discuss recovery efforts in a tornado-damaged southwest Ohio county as Gov. John Kasich sought alternative federal help after the U.S. government denied his request seeking maximum federal aid.
Mr. Kasich had asked President Obama to issue a disaster declaration for Clermont County to allow as much relief funding as possible for residents hit by severe storms on March 2. Mr. Kasich said the request was turned down. He didn't say why.
Instead, Mr. Kasich was applying for disaster relief through the Small Business Administration. That could give some homeowners and renters access to tens of thousands of dollars in low-interest loans to help them replace furniture and rebuild their houses, said Nancy Dragani, Ohio Emergency Management Agency chief. The money would have to be repaid.
Mr. Kasich also promised help for residents in need of somewhere to stay.
Three people were killed and hundreds of buildings were damaged in southwest Ohio by the storm system.