Denver, CO -- Federal snow emergency funds have now been made available for seven additional Colorado counties to help state and local governments, as well as eligible private non-profit organizations cover specific costs relating to snow removal in connection with the storms from March 17 through 20, 2003. The additional counties are Alamosa, Chaffee, Costilla, Gunnison, Morgan, Pueblo, and Saguache.
After reviewing storm information from the event, it was determined that record or near record snowfall amounts made these additional counties eligible for the emergency snow declaration. This brings the total to 29 Colorado counties eligible for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"We are very pleased that FEMA has added these additional counties to their original snow emergency declaration," said Colorado Governor Bill Owens. "This assistance will help ensure that local governments and agencies get assistance for costs associated with the record breaking snowfalls that we received."
"We are pleased to offer this assistance to these additional counties in Colorado who may need this emergency help," said Federal Coordinating Officer, Justin DeMello. "And, as always, we encourage communities to remain prepared for any potential future hazards."
Federal assistance is provided on a cost-sharing basis, covering 75 percent of the costs incurred for snow removal, as well as emergency protective measures relating to the storms. The snow emergency declaration is run by a partnership between FEMA and the Colorado Office of Emergency Management (COEM.) COEM helped coordinate response and recovery efforts with local jurisdictions during and after the blizzard.