San Jose flood victim faces $10,000 vet bill after horse caught in flood, federal funds may help

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A disaster has long-term impact, whether it's an earthquake, a fire, or a flood. San Jose's three neighborhoods hit by the floods show slow recovery. Progress is incremental and Tuesday, there's news about federal funds to help flood victims take out low-interest loans.

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Rock Springs still looks like a disaster zone -- littered with debris and destroyed vehicles. Work is underway to make the flood-damaged first-floor apartments livable again. One apartment building owner says he has been waiting a week to get inspectors to approve plumbing and electrical repairs.

Kacey Aumack is a different kind of flood victim. Her Arabian, Ben, was one of the 28 horses stranded in shoulder-high flood water from Coyote Creek for three days.

Ben suffered colic and ulcers from the ordeal, and the vet bills are mounting.

"Ben is continuing to improve, but his white blood cell count is high and his temperature is high, which is why he needs to be in a controlled environment as he improves," said Aumack. "I think we're somewhere in the range of $10,000 right now."

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Aumack might benefit from the low-interest disaster relief loans announced Tuesday by the U.S. Small Business Administration for San Jose's flood victims.

"Folks can apply online Tuesday or Wednesday they can go to city hall on the 12th floor and we'll have some officials here from the SBA, as well as the city to help people out in three languages," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Conservation Corps crews are busy assessing damage at Happy Hollow Zoo, which also flooded. The meerkats are back home, but others are still relocated.

"Certainly, it has been, but the animals take it in stride. The keeper's staff has been great and really helped to reduce any stress on the animals," said Happy Hollow Zoo Director Valerie Riegel. "They know when they're in a different spot, but we're making them as comfortable as we can."

Because many displaced flood victims are renters and probably didn't have flood insurance, the SBA loans might be a big help to replace personal property they lost. They can apply for up to $40,000 for personal property.

Click here to help Kacey Aumack and her horse Ben.
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