June 20, 2024

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From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

US recognizes ice storm as major disaster

2 min read
Seventeen Oregonians lost their lives to the storm, more than 238,900 Oregonians were without power at the storm's peak, and some areas were without power for more than 13 days.

from the White House, the Office of the Governor, and staff reports

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared April 13 that a major disaster exists in areas of Oregon affected by the January severe winter storms, straight-line winds, landslides, and mudslides.

He ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities.

The declaration applies in Benton, Clackamas, Coos, Hood River, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Multnomah, Sherman, Tillamook, and Wasco counties, and applies to the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

Yolanda Jackson of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will coordinate federal recovery operations in the affected areas. 

“I am grateful to President Biden for answering our call for help following the January ice and wind emergency and to our federal delegation for amplifying this critical need,” said Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek. “This opportunity for federal assistance will make a significant difference across communities that are still grappling with significant damage from the storm.”

Gov. Kotek submitted the request March 12, noting that 17 Oregonians lost their lives to the storm, more than 238,900 Oregonians were without power at the storm’s peak, and some areas were without power for more than 13 days.

In addition, 1,355 small businesses responded as suffering substantial economic losses due to the harsh weather conditions, with their estimated loss totaling $165.3 million.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for businesses impacted by the storm; applications are due by Nov. 8. Find more information and apply at http://sba.gov/disaster.

The preliminary public assistance damage assessment across all impacted communities was $48.5 million. The federal government typically takes six weeks to respond after submission of a federal major disaster declaration request.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures in all areas within the state.

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