Federal aid for flood victims

The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Dec. 12 that federal disaster aid has been made available for the state of Washington to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas struck by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides during the period of Nov. 2-11, 2006.

FEMA Director David Paulison said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush. The president's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, King, Lewis, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston and Wahkiakum.

The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.

In addition, federal funding is available on a cost-share basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Paulison named Elizabeth Turner as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. Turner said that damage surveys are continuing in other counties and areas, and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are complete.

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