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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 27, 2004

Statement by the Press Secretary

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and ordered Federal aid to supplement Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area struck by flooding, high surf, storm surge, and high winds as a result of Super Typhoon Chaba beginning on August 21, 2004, and continuing.

Federal funding is available to the Commonwealth and affected local governments on the Islands of Rota, Saipan, and Tinian on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures under Public Assistance at 75 percent Federal funding. Direct Federal assistance is authorized.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-share basis for hazard mitigation measures for the islands of Rota, Saipan and Tinian.

Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named William Lokey as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that damage surveys will be conducted when the islands are accessible and more jurisdictions and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are completed.



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