Olympia, WA -- Chelan and Kittitas counties have been added to the list of Washington counties eligible for federal disaster assistance following the Nisqually Earthquake that struck on Feb.28, federal and state officials announced today. Bill Lokey, of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), made the designation following a review of additional information regarding damages incurred by the earthquake.
"The reason for the designation at this point in the disaster is because earthquake damage is very difficult to detect. Residents and business owners are just now seeing the subtle damages to their properties," said Lokey, federal coordinating officer.
The addition of these counties makes a total of 22 counties eligible for Individual Assistance, joining Benton, Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Whatcom, Wahkiakum, and Yakima. All counties were automatically made eligible for Hazard Mitigation assistance with the original disaster declaration.
The additional designation means residents are eligible for disaster relief programs available under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The programs provide grants for temporary housing from FEMA and low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for affected homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes or grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
Disaster victims who need assistance may call the toll-free registration line 1-800-462-9029 to register. Persons with speech or hearing impairments can call the TTY line, 1-800-462-7585. Those who have already applied can ask questions about their applications by calling the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-525-0321 (TTY at 1-800-462-7585). These lines are staffed 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The deadline to register is May 31, 2001.
The 25 Tribal government reservations eligible for disaster assistance include the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, Hoh Tribe, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, Lower Elwha, Lummi Nation, Makah Tribe, Muckleshoot Tribe, Nisqually Tribe, Nooksack Tribe, Port Gamble Indian Community, Puyallup Tribe, Quileute Tribe, Quinault Nation, Samish Nation, Sauk-Suiattle Tribe, Shoalwater Bay Tribe, Skokomish Tribe, Snoqualmie Tribe, Squaxin Island Tribe, Stillaguamish Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Swinomish Tribe, The Tulalip Tribes, Upper Skagit Tribe and the Yakama Nation.