Graham, DeMint Support S.C. Disaster Declaration Request

May 17, 2007

U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint have joined Gov. Mark Sanford in asking for a disaster declaration after last month’s late freeze ruined much of South Carolina’s peach, wheat and other crops.

Officials estimate the April freeze damaged at least $115 million of crops statewide and at least 90 percent of the state’s $40 million dollar peach crop, Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said Tuesday.

A disaster declaration from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would allow eligible farmers to qualify for low-interest emergency loans and other disaster assistance to cover their losses.

“There are some folks whose staying power might depend on the low interest loans,” Weathers said.

South Carolina is one of several states to seek the disaster declaration after last month’s cold snap. Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas have also made requests, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

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