WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Clinton has declared Colorado a major disaster area because of damage from severe storms and flooding that began April 29.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the President's declaration requested by the state makes federal disaster funds available to help meet the recovery needs of stricken residents and business owners in the counties of Bent, El Paso, Larimer, Otero and Weld.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, minor 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.
Witt, who designated the counties eligible for assistance following the declaration, said federal funds also will be provided for the state on a cost-share basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that damage surveys are continuing and more counties and additional forms of aid for state and local government agencies may be designated later based on the results of the assessments.
James S. Logan, of FEMA's regional office in Denver, was named by Witt to coordinate the federal relief effort. Logan said residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin the disaster application process by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be available starting Tuesday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.