The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 4, 2002

Statement by the Press Secretary

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Alaska and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe winter storms, flooding, coastal erosion and tidal surge on October 23, 2002, through November 12, 2002.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the Kodiak Island Borough and the Chignik Bay area, to include Chignik Lake and Chignik Lagoon.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and repairs, 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 is available to the State and eligible local governments in the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the Chignik Bay area to include Chignik Lake and Chignik Lagoon on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the severe winter storms, flooding, coastal erosion and tidal surge. 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 William Lokey 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 areas may be added after the assessments are completed.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas 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.



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