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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Gov. Bev Perdue is asking the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide low-interest loans to residents of Burke and Rutherford counties who suffered losses from this week’s tornadoes.

Perdue said in a statement that she hopes to hear from the SBA early next week. SBA loans provide up to $200,000 to homeowners to repair and/or replace damaged property. Homeowners and renters would also be eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property.

Severe storms and tornadoes rumbled through western North Carolina Wednesday. In Burke County, 16 homes were destroyed and another 50 suffered some measure of damage.

Damage assessment teams from North Carolina Emergency Management and SBA were surveying losses on Friday.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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