Washington, DC -- Federal disaster funds were made available on February 15 to help communities in seven Louisiana parishes recover from the severe winter storm that hit the northern part of the state late last month, according to FEMA's Director James Lee Witt.
President Clinton authorized the assistance under a major disaster declaration following a review of the FEMA's analysis of the state's request for federal aid. The declaration covers damage to public property from the storm that occurred January 27-30.
Under the declaration, the state and local governments in the seven parishes are eligible to apply for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the storm, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities.
The parishes designated by Witt for the assistance include Bienville, Claiborne, Lincoln, Quachita, Union, Webster and West Carroll.
Witt said the declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. Additional parishes may be designated for aid later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Joe D. Bray of FEMA was named to coordinate the federal relief effort.