Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security News Release
For immediate release, May 20, 2011
Contact: Robert Feeley, (208) 422-3033
Presidential Disaster Declaration Approved for Idaho Flooding and Landslides
(Boise) The President today approved Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s request for a major disaster for Idaho and approved federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas struck by flooding during March 29 – April 11. Federal Public Assistance disaster funds now are available to help local, county and state governments rebuild public infrastructure damaged by the flooding in Bonner, Clearwater, Idaho, Nez Perce, and Shoshone counties and the Nez Perce Tribe.
“This declaration will make it possible to provide additional assistance to those areas of the state hardest hit by this most recent event, Governor Otter said. “It will also go a long way towards minimizing the impact on our people’s lives.”
The Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security (BHS) has coordinated teams to inspect disaster-related damage and examine emergency expenses identified by local emergency management officials. These Preliminary Damage Assessments estimated the scope of repair work needed and restoration costs and those costs to recover are approximately $5.5 million. For approved projects, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will pay 75 percent of the cost. The State of Idaho and the local jurisdiction applying for funding of a specific project will share the remaining 25 percent of the cost. Projects may include debris removal, emergency services and repair or replacement of damaged roads. Federal funding also is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Hazard mitigation projects will help to reduce Idaho’s vulnerability from future disasters.
BHS, the impacted jurisdictions, and FEMA will now begin working closely to coordinate the recovery programs. FEMA officials are expected to arrive in Idaho early next week and will establish a Joint Field Office (JFO) in Boise. Pat Lucas, BHS Preparedness and Protection Branch Chief has been appointed as the State Coordinating Official and will be the chief point of contact for state recovery efforts. A series of applicant briefings will take place in the near future to explain procedures for the jurisdictions to secure the federal disaster funding.
“Idaho had several jurisdictions that were significantly affected by the flooding and landslides during late March and early April,” said BHS Director Brig. Gen. Shawver. “FEMA has shown its dedication to helping Idaho recover from this event, and with the Presidential Disaster Declaration we now have the tools necessary to repair what was damaged and restore the impacted public infrastructure to its pre-flooding condition.”
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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.