SANTA FE, N.M. -- Disaster assistance has been made available for Rio Arriba and Taos Counties to help local governments recover from the effects of severe storms and flooding in New Mexico between July 26 and Sept. 18, 2006, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New Mexico Office of Emergency Management.
"After a review of damage data gathered by federal and state damage assessment teams, it was determined that Rio Arriba and Taos be added to the list of eligible counties," said Federal Coordinating Officer Tony Russell.
Federal funding is now available to State, tribal governments, eligible local government and certain private non-profit organizations located in both counties on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of storm- or flood-damaged facilities. The federal share of eligible public assistance costs is 75 percent. The remaining share is the responsibility of the state, local governments and certain eligible non-profit organizations.
The funds were authorized under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on August 30, 2006 and made available through FEMA's public assistance program for state and local governments.
Previous counties designated for Public Assistance include: Cibola, Dona Ana, Grant, Guadalupe, Harding, Hidalgo, Lincoln, Luna, McKinley, Mora, Otero, San Miguel, Sandoval, Sierra, Socorro, Torrance and Valencia bringing the total number of counties under the current declaration for Public Assistance to 19.
Dona Ana and Otero counties were also declared for Individual Assistance.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.