President declares disaster in parts of Alaska

Posted: Thursday, December 05, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush has declared parts of Alaska a major disaster as the result of storms and flooding.

The declaration means designated areas are eligible for federal aid to assist state and local efforts.

The White House singled out areas struck by severe winter storms, flooding, coastal erosion and tidal surge from Oct. 23 through Nov. 12.

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, including Chignik Lake and Chignik Lagoon.

The federal 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 also is available to the state and eligible local governments in the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the Chignik Bay area on a cost-sharing basis for repair or replacement of damaged public facilities.

Federal funding is also available for hazard mitigation measures.

Joe M. Allbaugh, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said William Lokey will be the coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

According to FEMA, damage surveys are continuing and more areas may be added to this list eligible for federal assistance.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance Thursday calling 1-800-621-3362, or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired. Operators are available to take calls from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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