WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal relief funds have been made available for snowbound Indiana communities under an emergency declaration issued for the state by President Clinton.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the President took the action this afternoon following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's recent request for federal assistance. The northern two-thirds of the state has been battling the ongoing effects of severe winter weather that blanketed the area with record and near-record snowfall since January 1.
Immediately after the declaration, Witt designated 47 counties eligible for federal funding to pay part of the cost for emergency protective measures undertaken as a result of the storm. This includes state and local government operations needed to protect public health and safety and to prevent damage to public or private property.
The eligible counties include Adams, Allen, Benton, Blackford, Cass, Clay, Clinton, DeKalb, Delaware, Fountain, Fulton, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Huntington, Jasper, Jay, Johnson, Kosciusko, Lake, Lagrange, LaPorte, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Miami, Montgomery, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, Randolph, Rush, St. Joseph, Shelby, Starke, Steuben, Tipton, Tippecanoe, Vermillion, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, White and Whitley.
Under the emergency declaration, FEMA will provide reimbursement to local and state agencies for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, contracts, and personnel overtime related to emergency services in dealing with the snow for a 48-hour period. These are the crucial hours when work crews clear snow from emergency routes and roads to critical facilities to permit the passage of emergency vehicles. Related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting, search and rescue, shelter operations, and police and fire department response will also be eligible for reimbursement.
Witt named Lawrence L. Bailey, of FEMA's regional office in Chicago, Ill., to coordinate federal recovery operations in the stricken state.