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Press Release: February 16, 2012

Governor Kitzhaber requests federal disaster declaration 

Severe winter weather in January caused extensive damage in 12 Oregon counties 

(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber today sent a formal request to President Obama asking for a federal disaster declaration due to the severe winter storms of January 17 through 21. The complex storm system that moved through the Pacific Northwest resulted in broad weather-related impacts from heavy snow, damaging winds, heavy rainfall, significant flooding, landslides and freezing rain.

The Governor’s letter specifically requests “Public Assistance” for emergency response costs and public damages in Benton, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Hood River, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk and Tillamook counties. He also requested “Individual Assistance” for families whose homes were damaged by the storms in Benton, Lane, Linn, Marion and Polk counties.

“The resilience of our citizens and communities is impressive, but we must continue to assist counties that suffered significant damages from these severe winter storms,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “Federal disaster aid will be essential to help our citizens and local governments fully recover.”

Immediately following the storms and initial emergency response, the Governor directed the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to coordinate the gathering of damage assessment data by the counties. OEM, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and local officials traveled the state verifying damage estimates to ensure all damages and expenses were captured.

Eligible public costs for this disaster were estimated at $16.3 million as well as $19.5 million in federal highway damage.  


Media Contacts:
Tim Raphael, 503-689-6117
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324

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