Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today designated 14 Colorado counties eligible for federal disaster funding to help restore rural electrical utilities crippled by a series of late winter storms that struck the eastern part of the state last month.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said President Bush ordered the assistance under a major disaster declaration issued for the state as a result of damage from the storms that occurred over the period of April 11-22.
Under the declaration, federal funds will be available to the state and affected local governments in the 14 counties to pay 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency services related to the storms and repairing or replacing damaged private nonprofit power systems. Funding also will be provided for the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
The counties designated for the assistance include Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Prowers, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma.
Allbaugh indicated that more counties and additional forms of assistance for state and local government agencies may be designated later if requested and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named Steven R. Emory of FEMA to coordinate federal relief operations.
Emory 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.