SANTA FE, N.M. -- The U.S. Small Business Administration will provide assistance to repair flood damage to homes and businesses in Lincoln County and neighboring areas.

Gov. Bill Richardson announced Tuesday the SBA had declared a disaster in Lincoln County because of flooding in July and August.

The disaster declaration also applies to flood damage in nearby counties, including Otero, Chaves, Torrance, DeBaca, Sierra, Guadalupe and Socorro counties.

The SBA offers low-interest loans to help in repairing property damage. The agency is opening an office in Ruidoso to help people apply for assistance.