California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently announced President George W. Bush approved his request for a major disaster declaration on San Joaquin County’s June 3rd levee break. The declaration provides federal financial assistance to cover emergency response and recovery costs for public entities, as well as hazard mitigation efforts to help prevent a recurrence in the area.
“I am grateful for the continued support President Bush has shown to California in this and past disasters,” the Governor said. “We will continue to work hard to help the communities hurt by the levee break.”
Under the declaration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency will coordinate federal assistance efforts with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
The assistance is being provided under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5206. The federal government will cover 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the state and local entities covering the remaining 25 percent.
The declaration will cover response and recovery costs as determined by FEMA, with a percentage of the final total going toward mitigation. Eligible State and local flood fight and repair costs are estimated at $40.7 million. That figure includes costs associated with emergency protective measures, as well as repairs to county roads and water control facilities that were damaged in the levee break. Once the water recedes a closer assessment will be made of infrastructure currently covered by water.
At the Governor’s direction, OES is pursuing assistance for farmers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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