PASADENA, CA. -- A formal agreement between the Karuk Tribe and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been signed, clearing the way for federal disaster aid to help the tribe recover from the severe winter storms earlier this year.
The agreement, signed by Karuk Tribal Council Chairman Arch Super and FEMA Region 9 Administrator Nancy Ward, completes the legal requirements and allows federal aid to be made available to the Karuk Tribe to help reimburse the cost of debris removal and emergency protective services following the severe winter storms, flooding, debris and mud flows that occurred between Jan.17 and Feb. 6.
FEMA also worked with the Karuk Tribe to update their hazard mitigation plan. This plan is designed to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from the effects of natural hazards. It also makes the Karuk Tribe eligible to apply for hazard mitigation grants.
"We welcome and appreciate the assistance of FEMA as we work on our recovery efforts and are grateful for the valuable assistance we received from their staff to update our Hazard Mitigation Plan," Chairman Super said.
"The financial assistance will enable the Tribe to make critical road repairs for damage that was sustained during the storm."
The tribe has applied for a Public Assistance (PA) grant to repair Itroop Road in Happy Camp, CA. A 150-foot section of roadway failed after flood waters caused part of the road surface to sink and split open. The road is used by local residents and tribal members going to and from their homes and is the only access for emergency vehicles into the Happy Camp neighborhood. In addition to plans to repair the road, additional drainage is planned to mitigate future flooding.
President Obama issued a disaster declaration March 8 for Siskiyou County, where the Karuk Tribe is located, along with Calaveras, Imperial, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The declaration made the six counties and the Karuk Tribe eligible for aid from FEMA's Public Assistance program.
FEMA will cover 75 percent of the cost of an eligible project, with the Karuk Tribe providing the remaining 25 percent.
The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) coordinates overall state agency preparedness for, response to and recovery from major disasters. Cal EMA also maintains the State Emergency Plan, which outlines the organizational structure for state management of the response to natural and manmade disasters.