OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Washington Emergency Management Division (WEMD) announced today that additional counties are now eligible for disaster Public Assistance to help with recovery from the severe winter storm and record and near-record snow that occurred between Dec. 12, 2008, and Jan. 5, 2009.
Whitman and Ferry counties have been added to FEMA-1825-DR-WA for Public Assistance for emergency measures, damages, and permanent repair of disaster damaged facilities (Categories A-G). This brings the number of counties receiving this type of Public Assistance to 26: Clallam, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Ferry, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom and Whitman counties.
These counties are now eligible for reimbursement for storm costs, including:
- Debris removal costs
- Emergency protective measures
- Repair/replacement of damaged roads and bridges
- Repair/replacement of water control facilities
- Repair/replacement of public buildings and their contents
- Repair/replacement of publicly owned utilities
- Repair/replacement of parks and recreation, and other facilities
In addition, Stevens County, with an existing Public Assistance designation, has been added to the declaration for emergency protective measures, including snow removal assistance, to save lives and to protect public health and safety.
Counties designated for snow removal expenses are eligible for cost reimbursements for any 48-hour period within the incident period. These are the crucial hours when work crews clear snow.
The addition of Stevens County for snow removal brings the total of counties receiving this type of assistance to 28: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Columbia, Cowlitz, Franklin, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman, and Yakima counties.
Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn said the assistance was approved following a review of damage reports gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials.
The Public Assistance program reimburses local governments, state agencies and certain private non-profits that provide public services for 75 percent of eligible costs. Applicant briefings to begin the application process are scheduled at various locations within the disaster-designated areas.
FEMA's PA Program may only provide assistance for projects that are located in a disaster-declared area and are the legal responsibility of an eligible applicant. The program cannot provide assistance for projects that are under the jurisdiction of other federal agencies, such as roads and bridges that are a part of the federal highway system or facilities located on federal lands like wildlife refuges and national parks.
Applicants must show evidence for expenses claimed, such as written contracts, receipts for work done, and logs of hours worked specifically on the disaster.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.