Daniels Requests Disaster Declaration for Six Indiana Counties

by Rick Howlett on March 8, 2012

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has asked President Obama to issue a disaster declaration for six southern Indiana counties damaged by last week’s tornadoes to make residents and business owners eligible for federal assistance.

Daniels is requesting a declaration for Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott, Warrick and Washington counties.

A preliminary assessment has determined that 187 primary residences were destroyed and 88 received major damage in the six counties.

Daniels says as assessments continue, he may later seek assistance for additional counties and for public infrastructure damaged by the storms.

The severe weather that tore through southern Indiana last Friday claimed 13 lives.

Here is the press release announcing the request:

INDIANAPOLIS (March 8, 2012) – Governor Mitch Daniels today requested federal assistance for Hoosiers devastated by tornadoes and severe storms that affected parts of southern Indiana on February 29 and March 2. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted joint preliminary damage assessments this week.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, the governor asked that a major disaster be declared for Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott, Warrick and Washington counties. Last weekend, the governor declared a disaster emergency for those counties and Gibson, Harrison, Posey, Shelby and Vanderburgh counties. The federal disaster request does not currently include Gibson, Harrison, Posey, Shelby and Vanderburgh counties because damages there are less extensive than previously reported.

In his letter to the president, the governor said state and local officials have identified severe damage to homes, businesses, and public infrastructure in the affected areas. The preliminary assessment determined that 187 primary residences were destroyed and 88 received major damage in Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott, Warrick and Washington counties.

The governor specifically has requested implementation of the Individual Assistance Programs, which can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. If FEMA individual assistance is granted, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans also will be available.

The request indicated that further damage may be identified and the governor reserved the right to request assistance for additional counties. It is also possible the governor could amend the state’s request to ask for public assistance, once damage to public infrastructure is known. If granted, such assistance would provide reimbursement for state and local expenses.

Here is a link to the governor’s letter to President Obama: http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Press/030812letter.pdf

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