Governor Asking for Holly Tornado Help

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The following is a release from the Governor's office:

Gov. Bill Ritter today (Wednesday) asked the U.S. Small Business Administration for an emergency disaster declaration to provide low-interest loans to victims of last week’s deadly tornado in Holly.

The letter follows the governor’s verbal disaster declaration of Monday and executive order of yesterday authorizing up to $1 million in emergency funds to cover temporary housing, mental-health and infrastructure costs.

The complete text of the letter follows:

April 4, 2007

Alfred E. Judd, Director

United States Small Business Administration

Field Operations Center West

P.O. Box 419004

Sacramento, CA 95841-9004

Dear Mr. Judd:

On Wednesday March 28, 2007, a category F3 tornado cut a swath 2.2 miles long and three to four city blocks wide through the small rural Colorado community of Holly and adjacent areas of Prowers County, damaging or destroying many homes and businesses, killing one woman, and hospitalizing eight people, including the woman’s infant daughter. The local community and the state activated emergency response plans and resources, and the local community mobilized to respond and begin to recover from the disaster.

On March 30, 2007, a joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) was conducted in and around Holly, Colorado by representatives of local governments, the State of Colorado, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and your agency. During that PDA, it was determined that 164 residences and eleven businesses were damaged by the tornado. Of the 164 residences impacted by the tornado, twenty-nine were destroyed, nineteen sustained major damage, and two were affected more than a minor amount. Of the eleven businesses that were damaged, five sustained major or greater damage. Based upon current data, twenty-five of the residences that sustained major or greater damage and ninety-nine of the residences that sustained minor damage were uninsured. Those businesses sustaining major or greater damage have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the tornado, and are in need of financial assistance not otherwise available on reasonable terms.

Under the provisions of Title 13, Part 123.3 of the Code of Federal Regulations, I request the Small Business Administration issue an agency physical and economic injury disaster declaration for Prowers County and the Town of Holly, Colorado, and an economic injury disaster declaration for the adjacent counties of Baca, Bent, and Kiowa, Colorado. For the physical injury declaration from the tornado and its immediate consequential aftermath, I request an incident period from approximately 7:00 PM Mountain Daylight Time, March 28, 2007 through 7:00 AM March 29, 2007. For the economic injury declaration, I request an injury period from approximately 7:00 PM Mountain Daylight Time, March 27, 2007 through July 26, 2007. I request that all appropriate available assistance, including low interest disaster loans, be made available to the victims of the tornado.

I have designated Mr. George Epp, Director of the Colorado Division of Emergency Management, Department of Local Affairs, as my point of contact for this disaster declaration. He may be reached at 720-852-6600.

Should you have any further questions, or require any further data, please contact Mr. Epp or my office.

On behalf of the citizens of Colorado, thank you for your assistance.


Bill Ritter, Jr.