Washington, D.C. -- Federal disaster aid has been made available for Alaska to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas struck by recent floods stemming from periods of heavy rain and rapid snowmelt, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush. The declaration covers damage to private and public property from flooding that occurred over the period of April 27 through May 30.
Following the President's action, Allbaugh designated the following jurisdictions eligible for aid to stricken residents and business owners: the borough of Fairbanks North Star; the villages of McGrath and Lime in the Iditarod Regional Education Attendance Area (REAA); the villages of Aniak, Crooked Creek, Red Devil and Sleetmute in the Kuspuk REAA; the village of Kwethluk in the Lower Kuskokwim REAA; and the villages of Ekwok and New Stuyahok in the Southwest Region REAA.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency 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.
Additionally, Allbaugh said federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments in the borough of Matunuska-Susitna to pay 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Allbaugh indicated that additional jurisdictions may be designated for aid later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named William Lokey of FEMA to coordinate the federal relief effort.
Lokey said those who sustained losses in the jurisdictions designated for aid to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be available starting Thursday, June 27 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.