Washington, D.C. -- Federal disaster funds have been made available for Montana to help communities recover from the effects of recent storms that struck the northwestern part of the state, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal relief. The declaration covers damage to public property from severe storms and flooding that began June 8.
Under the declaration, Allbaugh said the state and affected local governments in the following jurisdictions are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and the restoration of damaged public facilities: the counties of Glacier, Liberty, Pondera and Toole, and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Allbaugh, who designated the jurisdictions eligible for the aid after the declaration, indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named Michael Bolch of FEMA to coordinate the federal relief effort.
Bolch said procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.