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Great Seal of the State of Idaho

C.L. "BUTCH" OTTER
GOVERNOR

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2017
17:021

CONTACT: Jon Hanian
(208) 334-2100

 

 

 

FEMA REJECTS STATE APPEAL SEEKING HELP WITH SNOWSTORM DAMAGE IN FIVE COUNTIES

(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter expressed frustration and resolve today at news that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) once again has denied the State’s request for disaster assistance in five Idaho counties hit hard by severe winter storms.

“The window is closed for this particular effort to get federal help addressing snow-related destruction and preventing additional damage statewide,” Governor Otter said. “But we have one Presidential Disaster Declaration approved and another pending, so we’re exploring every opportunity to help our communities address their most serious recovery needs.”   

In a letter dated Tuesday, FEMA Acting Administrator Robert Fenton rejected an appeal of the agency’s decision to deny Idaho’s bid for federal assistance in Ada, Canyon, Custer, Payette and Washington counties in the wake of snowstorms from December 22, 2016, to January 19, 2017.

“After a thorough review of all the information contained in your initial request and appeal, we reaffirm our original findings that the impact from this event is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration,” Fenton wrote.

“Our disappointment that FEMA has denied our request does not impact the State’s efforts. We will continue to work closely with the counties affected,” said Brad Richy, deputy chief of the Idaho Office of Emergency Management. “This appeal was an important continuation of our efforts to work on behalf of the counties, to ensure that every available resource has been pursued fully.”

Last week President Trump signed a Presidential Disaster Declaration making available federal relief in response to flooding from February 5-March 3 in Cassia, Franklin, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Twin Falls and Washington counties. Still pending is a federal disaster declaration for flooding, landslides and avalanches from March 6-April 3 in Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Shoshone and Valley counties.

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