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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 12, 1995


The President today declared a major disaster in the state of California shortly after receiving Gov. Wilson's request late this afternoon. The President ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by the winter storms, causing flooding, landslides and mud debris flows beginning Feb. 13, 1995.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals and local governments in the counties of Amador, Butte, Colusa, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernadino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sierra, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba counties.

Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners to recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funds will also be available to affected local governments to pay part of the cost for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities.

James Lee Witt, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Nick Nickas of FEMA's regional office in San Francisco to coordinate federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be added after assessments are completed.

The agency said that the residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can being applying for assistance immediately by calling 1-800-462-9029 or 1-800-462-7585 (TDD) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (PST) seven days a week until further notice.