- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Gov. Mike Pence and others have asked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack to make a secretarial disaster declaration for eight additional counties hit by heavy rains and flooding since May 1.

Pence, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Indiana Farm Service Agency Executive Director Julia Wickard sent a letter to Vilsack on Thursday requesting the disaster declaration for Clark, Fulton, Morgan, Owen, Rush, Shelby, White, and Whitley counties.

Vilsack last week issued a disaster declaration for 53 counties, making farmers there eligible for low-interest emergency loans. The Agriculture Department said farmers in 35 other Indiana counties contiguous to the original 53 also were eligible. Those 35 counties include some if not all of the eight covered in the state officials’ letter Thursday.

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