With Some Damage Not Covered By Insurance, SBA Loans Open Up For West Suburban Tornado Victims – CBS Chicago

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WOODRIDGE, Ill. (CBS) — One month ago Tuesday, people in Woodridge and Naperville ran for cover as an EF-3 tornado tore a path through communities.

For many, the pain doubled when they learned some of the damage was not covered by insurance.

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But as CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra reported Tuesday night, some of those tornado victims are getting a second chance.

Trauma does funny things to time, so it’s somehow both crawling and speeding by.

“I wish it wasn’t a month already, but it’s been a month – it’s moving quick!” said Joe Biondo.

Biondo first gave us a tour of his tornado-torn yard in Woodridge on June 22.

Since then, he has been wrangling documents, and learning not everything that needs fixing can be through his coverage.

“Our insurance only covered so much for our garage and the fence, so we can only pay for so much,” Biondo said. “The rest was going to come out of our pocket.”

Another blow came when the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied a disaster declaration for the area, leaving these neighbors desperate for financial help.

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But one month to the day after the tornado touched down, the U.S. Small Business Administration set up shop inside Woodridge Village Hall, opening up applications for loans to those hit by the storm.

“The insurance may not be, you know, speedy, so it’s good to know it’s another avenue that they can take in this time of need,” said Janel Finley of the Small Business Administration

The State of Illinois submitted DuPage County’s storm damage tally to get the declaration. An assessment found 36 homes in the county had major damage, with more than $2.6 million in uninsured losses. Another 127 homes and six businesses totaled more than $3 million in minor damages.

“It’s going to help,” Biondo said. “It’s going to help a lot of the neighbors too, because it’s a lot of money.”

The Biondos plan to apply, and use that money to fix the fence and prop up his leaning garage. It is financial assistance that could make the biggest difference in how this area looks in another few months.

“I want to try getting it done by the end of the summer – that’s my goal,” he said.

The SBA is accepting applications in person at Woodridge Village Hall through July 29.

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Storm victims can also apply online. You can find the application here.

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