CHEYNENNE, Wyo. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Wyoming Emergency Management Agency (WEMA) today announced the approval of federal public assistance to help reimburse applicants in Niobrara County for eligible disaster-related expenditures following last October's severe winter storm.
Niobrara County, Wyoming sustained severe winds, freezing temperatures, ice and snow on October 5, 1998, resulting in the loss of electrical power throughout the county. This storm left all 2,499 county residents without power.
The federal assistance is provided to WEMA for disbursement to applicants. To date, WEMA has distributed the following federal monies:
- $202,875.00 to Niobrara Electric Association for repair or replacement of the damaged power system.
- $27,723.19 to the Town of Lusk for repairs to the electrical distribution system and costs associated with emergency generators.
- $4,806.36 to Niobrara Senior Citizen Center for repair of damaged equipment.
- $1,610.79 to Niobrara County to help cover extraordinary costs incurred providing emergency services to county residents including generators and meals.
- $1,048.68 to Niobrara Hospital District for emergency generator costs.
- $7,074.75 to WEMA for reimbursement of costs incurred for providing emergency power to Niobrara County residents.
"Local and state officials did an excellent job working through the disaster." said Steve Olsen, federal coordinating officer for the disaster response. "We are pleased to be able to provide assistance that will help offset the financial hardship incurred by the applicants in taking care of the residents of Niobrara County during this disaster."
"The storm was a unique event in the history of Niobrara County," said MG Ed Boenisch, The Adjutant General for Wyoming and state coordinating officer for the disaster response. "We are pleased to see money going out so quickly after the declaration. It is a testament to the cooperative partnerships between local, state and federal officials."
The public assistance infrastructure money is made available to the state under terms of the joint FEMA/state agreement. Affected local governments are eligible to apply for federal funds that pay 75 percent of approved costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures, repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges and utilities.