President Bush declared parts of Nevada a national disaster area Friday and ordered federal aid to help respond to damage caused by severe storms and flooding a month ago.
Federal funding will be available to state and local governments
as well as some private nonprofit groups on a cost-sharing basis to
do emergency work and repairs in response to damage caused by the
disaster Dec. 31 through Jan. 4, the White House said in a
Those eligible are Carson City, Douglas, Lyon, Storey and Washoe
counties as well as the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Washoe County
and the Washoe Tribe in Douglas County.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for
hazard mitigation measures statewide, the White House said.
Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn asked Bush on Jan. 17 for the disaster
declaration to obtain federal money to help pay for an estimated
$17 million damaged caused by the floods over New Year's weekend.
The declaration will reimburse agencies 75 percent of the money
spent fixing roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.
Heavy rain and snow caused the Truckee River to overflow in
Carson City and the four counties.
Mudslides also closed Interstate 80, while the Carson River
overflowed and submerged parts of several cities, towns and parts
of U.S. 395.
"Todays announcement of a Presidential Declaration is good news
and will go a long way in providing some relief to our city and the
businesses who suffered damage and loss during the New Years Eve
Flood," Sparks City Manager Shaun Carey said Friday.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Nevada's entire congressional
delegation worked with Guinn to help secure the designation.
"Parts of Northern Nevada were battered by storms a month ago,
and those areas need help to clean up," Reid said.
"This funding will help Northern Nevada communities get back on
their feet," he said.
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said the storms had a "huge impact"
on many communities.
"I'm grateful to the administration for their quick and
thorough response to our request," he said.
The Nevada Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency
Management in cooperation with FEMA will be establish a Disaster
Recovery Center within the next few days to provide a single point
of coordination for all available federal and state disaster
recovery programs, Guinn said Friday.
He said he has appointed Frank Siracusa, chief of the Nevada
Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management, as
his authorized representative who will oversee the implementation
of these programs.
"We must now take the necessary steps to restore public
facilities and assist individuals in their efforts of recovery,"
R. David Paulison, the acting director of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, named Michael Karl of FEMA to serve as the
federal coordinating officer for the recovery effort in Nevada.
Additional designations may be made at a later date, the White