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Deadline approaching for Irene aid

An officer is almost surrounded by water on

An officer is almost surrounded by water on Ocean Beach in an undated photo after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Credit: Barry Sloan

Homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofits that experienced physical property damage as a result of Tropical Storm Irene have until Oct. 31 to file for low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration.

So far a total of 5,086 applications have been issued on Long Island; 448 have been filled in and returned; 129 approved, to the tune of $5 million.

Though there’s more than a week to the deadline, “we don’t want people to wait,” said Jelani Miller, public affairs specialist with the SBA office of disaster assistance, covering New York.

Some homeowners and renters who registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- -- for disaster relief may have been surprised that they were automatically sent a loan application packet from the Small Business Administration. They might have said, “It does not apply to me,” and thrown it away, Miller said.

Other possible reasons for the small number of Long Island applications that have been filled in and returned include people realizing they can recover on their own or their intention to still file before the deadline, Miller said.

Learn more about the SBA’s disaster recovery loans here --

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