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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 14, 1998


Today, I am pleased to announce that additional relief is on the way to thousands directly impacted by the heat wave in the South and Southwest.

On July 23, I announced the release of $100 million in emergency Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds to the eleven Southern and Southwestern states that were hit hardest by the heat wave. Since this time, the heat wave has continued, so today I am directing the Department of Health and Human Services to release an additional $50 million in LIHEAP assistance to those eleven states.

Funds will be released to eleven Southern and Southwestern states: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Mississippi.

This scorching heat wave has destroyed crops, caused widespread power outages, and worst of all, led to the deaths of more than 100 Americans. The heat poses the greatest threat to our most vulnerable citizens -- children, the disabled, and the elderly. And for all those who cannot afford air-conditioning, the high temperatures will continue to be life-threatening.

The release of these emergency LIHEAP funds will help eligible families and individuals pay for costs associated with home cooling, including the purchase of air conditioners and payment of electricity bills.

This emergency relief was paid for in last year's bipartisan balanced budget agreement. And thanks to our bipartisan commitment, thousands of Americans will be better able to protect their children and families this summer.