Portland/ Weather & Environment
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Published on April 15, 2024
President Biden Approves Federal Disaster Relief for Oregon After January Ice StormsSource: Multnomah County

Following a severe bout of winter weather that struck Oregon earlier this year, President Joe Biden has given the green light for the long-awaited disaster relief funds. Oregonians who found themselves at the mercy of the January ice storms can now expect federal aid after Biden approved Governor Tina Kotek's disaster declaration request, reported KGW.

The approval will release federal funding to not only state, tribal, and local entities but also certain nonprofits, helping them to substantially repair or fully replace facilities damaged by the storm. This comes in the wake of Kotek's statewide declaration, which aimed to better enable counties in Oregon to access vital federal resources and support. According to details from the Governor's office, quoted by KPTV, "The federal funds will be provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), after Kotek made a major disaster declaration on behalf of the state, as well as the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, last month."

Areas affected by the severe winter conditions, including counties such as Benton, Clackamas, Coos, Hood River, and several others, are expected to participate in the funding, which is made available on a cost-sharing basis. KTVZ included in their report that the White House confirmed funding would also be available for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Overseeing the Federal recovery operations in the afflicted areas, Yolanda J. Jackson of FEMA has been appointed to coordinate the relief efforts. Expressing her gratitude for the presidential approval of her request, Gov. Kotek stated, "I am grateful to President Biden for answering our call for help following the January ice and wind emergency and to our federal delegation for amplifying this critical need," as obtained by KGW. She emphasized that this federal assistance is set to make a significant difference across communities still grappling with the aftermath of the storm.