VDEM, Small Business Administration survey storm damage in Danville

Tropical Storm Michael estimated to have caused $8.7 million worth of damage

DANVILLE, Va. – Danville residents and business owners are one step closer to getting financial help to recover from Tropical Storm Michael.

Federal and state officials toured the city Friday, surveying damage to homes and businesses.

The Colonial Heights apartment complex was the third stop of the day for representatives from the Small Business Administration and Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Cleanup continues in the 23 first-floor apartments that are now uninhabitable due to damage from Tropical Storm Michael.

"I've been overwhelmed since the flood, but in a bad way," Colonial Heights apartment complex owner Angelia Baldwin said.

Baldwin's grandfather built the complex in the 1960s.

Some tenants, living there since the '80s, are like family to her.

"To see them devastated and traumatized and confused, in my mind there was no other option. I'm done. My legacy is over," Baldwin said.

The SBA and VDEM representatives looked at structural damage, water lines and spoke to property owners about the history of problems with their property.

"The information that they're going to collect today will be compiled in a report and then pushed up to their counterparts, on up to (President Donald Trump) for consideration (of a disaster declaration)," said VDEM Region 6 Disaster Response and Recovery Officer Mike Guzo. 

If a disaster is declared, the SBA will open up an office in Danville where people can apply for help.

"The SBA assistance is in the form of low-interest loans," Guzo said.

While Baldwin says the flood damage is overwhelming, so too is the news the government is here to help.

"To know that there's an option for me, that maybe the legacy doesn't end," Baldwin said.

FEMA representatives are expected to be in Danville next week to tour the storm damage as well.

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