For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 10, 2002
Statement by the Press Secretary
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Wisconsin and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred on September 2, 2002.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in a 19 county area. The counties include Barron, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Polk, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano, St. Croix, Taylor, Washburn, Waupaca, and Wood Counties.
Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding also is available to eligible local governments in the counties of Polk, Rusk, and Taylor, on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.
Joe M. Allbaugh, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Gracia Szczech as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be added after the assessments are completed.
The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.