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      Loans available to Alabamians affected by flooding

      The U.S. Small Business Administration will offer low-cost loans for people hit by flooding in central Alabama earlier this month.{}{}{}{}Gov. Robert Bentley's office says the government has approved a disaster declaration covering Jefferson County and the nearby counties of Shelby, Bibb, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Blount and St. Clair.{}{}{}{}The loan program was announced Friday.{}{}{}{}Scores of people were flooded out of their homes when storms dropped as much as 6 inches of rain starting April 6.{}{}{}{}The governor says cleanup is continuing, and the loans are available to help homeowners, businesses and nonprofit groups that were damaged in the flooding.