BOISE, Idaho -- On July 6 President Bush signed a disaster declaration allowing government entities in Nez Perce County and the portion of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation that is within Nez Perce County to apply for help in recouping costs associated with eligible storm damages and losses resulting from the May heavy rains and floods.
“Under the declaration, governmental and tribal entities in the designated county may apply for funds to assist with costs associated with damages and losses from the May 6 through 20 storms,” said Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer for the disaster. “The assistance is also available to certain eligible private nonprofit groups.”
Although some individual homes were affected by the storms, the damage was not sufficient to meet federal requirements for an individual assistance declaration. Therefore, a major disaster declaration for public assistance was requested by the governor based on the damage assessment and an agreement to commit state funds and resources to the long-term recovery. Approximately $1.7 million in damages to infrastructure was assessed.
Under the public assistance program FEMA will pay 75 percent of eligible costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent restoration for projects that are approved.
“The first step toward providing assistance will be a state-sponsored briefing for applicants,” said Bill Bishop, state-coordinating officer for the disaster. “The State and FEMA will conduct a briefing to explain the public assistance application process. Applicants will be notified of the briefing date, time and location.”
Individuals with continuing unmet needs may call the Nez Perce County Office of Emergency Management at 208-799-3084 or the Idaho Careline numbers, 211 or toll free 800-926-2588 for assistance.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.