Littleton, Colo. -- To date, more than $935 thousand in reimbursement funds have been made available to the state for distribution eligible applicants in the wake of the Colorado severe winter storms that hit the state between December 18 - 22 and 28 - 31, 2006, according to Colorado Division of Emergency Management (CDEM) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recovery officials.
“We are in the process of reviewing the rest of the applicants’ paperwork with FEMA to get reimbursement funds to them as quickly as possible,” said George Epp, director of CDEM. “We expect this process to take another month or so.”
The following are highlights of ongoing recovery efforts:
- With additional counties added since the original declarations, 24 counties are now included in two separate declarations. The Dec. 18-22 storm included the following counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Custer, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Gilpin, Jefferson, Larimer, Las Animas, Pueblo, Teller, and Washington. Included for the Dec. 28-31 storm are: Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, Huerfano, Kiowa, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers and Pueblo.
- Federal assistance reimburses 75 percent of eligible costs incurred for snow removal and emergency protective measures taken in response to the storms. State and local governments assume the remaining 25 percent share.
- Agencies eligible to participate include state agencies, local governments, public utilities, special districts and certain private non-profit organizations.
- Eight Applicant Briefings were held by CDEM to help applicants understand eligibility requirements and the reimbursement process. An online Applicant Briefing Package has been included on the CDEM webpage.
- 276 eligible applicants have applied for assistance. Additional applications are under review.
- Under a separate declaration, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) acted on Governor Bill Ritter’s request of January 23, 2007 for federal assistance for farmers in 10 southeast counties that sustained agricultural and livestock losses during the same storms.
- According to USDA representatives, emergency loans, authorized by the FSA Administrator’s Loss Notification on January 24, 2007, limit funding to applicants who suffered physical agricultural losses. Producers in the primary disaster areas of Baca, Bent, Crowley, El Paso, Huerfano, Kiowa, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers and Pueblo counties may be eligible. Producers in the following contiguous counties may also be eligible for the low interest loans: Alamosa, Cheyenne, Costilla, Custer, Douglas, Elbert, Fremont, Lincoln, Saguache and Teller.
Additional information is available at dola.colorado.gov/dem. Handbooks, maps, and worksheets for potential applicants are available on the website.
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 Mar. 1, 2003.