Three High Country Counties are among 12 Primary and 6 Contiguous counties that are declared disaster areas as a result of the rains and flooding from Tropical Storm Fred back in August.

The Department of Agriculture designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance including emergency loans from the FSA.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months to apply for emergency loans. Mitchell and Yancey are among the primary designation counties, while neighboring Avery and Burke counties are contiguous designation counties.

Residents of these counties may apply for FSA emergency loans online and get more information at FSA.USDA.gov.