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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 11, 1996


President Declares Major Disaster in Idaho

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Idaho and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding beginning on February 6, 1996, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in Benwah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, Shoshone Counties and the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. 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 also is available to eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding. Assistance may also include Hazard Mitigation grants to reduce the risk of damage from future disasters. County designations will be made upon completion of damage assessments. Direct Federal assistance may also be provided, if warranted, for the first 72 hours following declaration.

James L. Witt, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Douglas Gore of FEMA's regional office in Denver, Colorado to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

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

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin 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 telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MT) seven days a week until further notice.

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For Further Information contact: FEMA (202) 646-4600.