Indiana Gov. Seeks Federal Assistance After Severe Winter Weather

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has asked President George W. Bush for federal assistance to provide monetary help for Hoosiers devastated by flooding, ice storms and severe winter weather.

After receiving preliminary damage surveys from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and from his own tour of some affected areas, Daniels said that residents of 64 counties may be eligible for individual assistance.

“Earlier this week, I met with National Guard troops, town residents and volunteers in southern Indiana who are exhausted but working around the clock to save their homes and their communities. Ice, snow and heavy rains have and continue to take their toll in many regions of our state,” said Daniels. “There will be months of recovery work ahead after the rains and flooding subside, and the federal aid I am requesting today would be used to support in those efforts.”

Daniels toured flooded areas in Columbus, Washington and Hazleton last week.

In his letter to the president, Daniels said that north central and central parts of the state have suffered damage as a result of severe icing and flooding. The southern and northern regions of the state have experienced flooding along major streams and rivers. The letter also includes a summary of the weather events prepared by the National Weather Service Office in Indianapolis.

“I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and local governments and supplementary federal assistance is necessary,” the letter said.

Daniels has requested implementation of the Individual Assistance Programs, which include disaster housing, disaster unemployment assistance, crisis counseling and individual and household programs, as well as hazard mitigation and Small Business Administration disaster loans.

The eligible counties are: Bartholomew, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Daviess, Decatur, Delaware, Dubois, Floyd, Fountain, Gibson, Grant, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jackson, Jay, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Martin, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Randolph, Rush, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vanderburgh, Vermilion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Warrick, Washington, Wells and White. The Governor also reserves the right to request that additional counties be designated as they are identified.

In addition to SEMA, other state agencies that are providing direct assistance to local governments include the Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, Indiana State Police, the Emergency Medical Service Commission, the State Board of Health, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Military Department of Indiana and the Utility Regulatory Commission.

“Local and state emergency officials have responded to this crisis with all of our available resources, but we need help so Hoosiers can repair and rebuild their lives,” said Daniels.

Daniels has asked state officials to continue to assess damages and reserved the right to seek public federal assistance to provide reimbursement to the state and counties for costs of the ice storm and flooding once that assessment is done.