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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 4, 1997


President Clinton today declared a major disaster exists in the state of Ohio and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding beginning on February 28, 1997, and continuing.

"I want to thank state and local police, firefighters and emergency volunteers for the hard work and long hours they've put in the last few days. They've responded to this emergency with courage and skill," President Clinton said. "We will stand by the people of Ohio, and we will work with you to get through this and begin the process of rebuilding your homes and businesses, and rebuilding your lives. God bless all of you."

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in a 14 county area. The counties include Adams, Athens, Brown, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington.

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.

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