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BY PORTSIA SMITH
Louisa and Orange counties are among 15 localities that on Wednesday were declared contiguous disaster areas as a result of the summer derecho.
According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a contiguous disaster declaration means the locality borders a county named as a primary disaster area.
Albemarle, Nelson and Page counties were declared primary disaster areas due to excessive rain, hail, high winds and lightning associated with the storms that occurred between June 28 and July 3.
The other contiguous disaster localities include Amherst, Appomattox,
"These areas were very hard hit by the derecho of late June/early July and any assistance farmers can get will be appreciated," Virginia Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Matthew Lohr said in a news release.
The designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible for emergency loans from the federal Farm Service Agency, provided certain requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419