THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
President Declares Major Disaster in Washington
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Washington and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by high winds, severe storms and flooding beginning on January 26, 1996, and continuing.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to individuals in the following areas: Asotin, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston, Walla Walla, Whitman and Yakima. Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding will be made available to eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the high winds, severe storms and flooding. Federal funding will also be made available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures. Specific county designations will be made assessments are completed.
James L. Witt, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Robert C. Freitag of FEMA's office in Bothell, Washington to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be added after the assessments are completed.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.