Otter Requests Federal Assistance for Flood Damaged Areas


Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security News Release
For immediate release, May 6, 2011
Contact: Robert Feeley, (208) 422-3033

Governor Otter Requests Federal Disaster Assistance for Flood Damaged Areas in Northern and North Central Idaho


(Boise) Governor Otter has made a formal request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a federal disaster declaration. If approved, federal disaster funding would be made available to help repair the damage caused by flooding and landslides in north and north central Idaho.

Boundary, Bonner, Shoshone, Clearwater, Nez Perce and Idaho counties as well as the Nez Perce Tribe are currently under a state disaster declaration. From March 31 through April 11, the area saw significant rainfall combined with high amounts of snowmelt which damaged roads throughout north and north central Idaho.

Last week the State of Idaho, FEMA and county officials concluded a joint preliminary damage assessment in the impacted areas. The damage assessment confirmed damages exceeded the threshold to qualify for federal disaster assistance. The threshold for federal disaster assistance is based on a per capita dollar amount, and equals approximately $1.6 million for the State of Idaho.

It is estimated that the damages exceeded $5 million. This estimated dollar amount does not attempt to total all the damages from the flooding and landslides, but is used as a method to determine if Idaho has met the threshold for federal disaster assistance. The damages include debris removal, emergency protective measures and repairs to roads.

Governor Otter’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration now goes to FEMA who will make a recommendation to the President. The President will determine, based on several factors, whether he will issue a Major Disaster Declaration. Should the President issue the Major Disaster Declaration, federal disaster funding will be made available to restore damaged public infrastructure to its pre-flooding condition.

“All of us at the Bureau of Homeland Security have been working very closely with FEMA and the jurisdictions impacted from the flooding and landslides,” said BHS Director Brigadier General Bill Shawver. “Not only were these jurisdictions damaged by flooding and landslides, but they have put in a considerable amount of work to get to this point where we can ask for federal disaster assistance.”


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Note to reporters: The Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security is the State of Idaho’s emergency management agency. Please note that Idaho BHS is an Idaho-specific agency, and it is not the same thing as the federal Department of Homeland Security. Within the State of Idaho organizational chart, Idaho BHS is aligned under the State of Idaho Military Division.


Original Release