Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today that federal disaster funds have been made available to help communities in 12 southern Wisconsin counties recover from the effects of a recent series of spring storms and other extreme weather.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the aid was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Clinton this afternoon. The declaration covers damage to public property from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began May 26.
Immediately after the President's action, Witt designated the following counties eligible for federal funds to supplement the recovery needs of affected local governments: Adams, Crawford, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Juneau, Lafayette, Monroe, Richland, Sauk and Vernon.
Under the declaration, Witt said the federal government will pay 75 per cent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and restoring damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges and utilities. Federal funds also will be available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Witt indicated that damage surveys are continuing and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are completed. He named James Roche of FEMA to coordinate federal relief operations.
Roche 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.