FEMA Director James Lee Witt said President Clinton authorized the assistance requested by the state under a major disaster declaration issued this afternoon. The declaration covers damage to public property from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred over the period of April 3-7.
Immediately after the President's action, Witt designated Bossier Parish eligible for federal funding to pay affected local governments 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and restoring damaged public facilities. Federal funding also will be available to the state on a cost-share basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Witt indicated additional parishes and other forms of federal assistance may be designated later if requested and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Robert E. Hendrix, of FEMA's regional office in Denton, Texas, was named by Witt to coordinate the federal relief effort. Hendrix said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.