TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – There is some good news for South Florida residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged by a recent tornado that a left a trail of destruction in Sunrise and Plantation.

The Small Business Administration is offering home and business loans to tornado and severe weather victims in South Florida.

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Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday the SBA had approved his request for a physical disaster declaration related to the events on Oct. 18th. A severe weather system spawned a tornado with top winds of 120 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Miami. Up to 50 homes were damaged and a few were destroyed.

The loans are available to households and businesses in Broward, Palm Beach, Hendry, Miami-Dade and Collier counties. They can be used to repair or replace damaged real estate and other property.

“I am grateful to Administrator Mills, Director Skaggs and our federal partners at the SBA for granting this critical disaster assistance,” said Governor Scott. “These low-interest loans are an excellent resource to help residents recover from the damaging severe weather that impacted these communities.”

A Disaster Loan Outreach Center will open on Tuesday to provide assistance and information. The center will be located at: 777 Sawgrass Corporate Parkway, Training Room, Sunrise, FL 33125.

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The center will be open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Applications for physical damage can be filed through Dec. 27. The deadline for economic injury applications is July 27, 2012.

For more information, contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

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