Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert signed a letter Monday requesting President Barack Obama issue a presidential disaster declaration for the State due to spring flooding damage. If approved by the President, Utah would become eligible for federal disaster assistance.
“Our local governments and emergency response coordinators statewide came together in a commendable way for a Herculean challenge, but cities and counties don’t need to be left holding the bag for disaster recovery,” said Governor Herbert. “I thank FEMA’s assessment team, who toured the state, visiting 19 counties and the Ute Indian Tribe in one week, to find qualifying damages.”
“Federal assistance was essential in helping southern Utah recover from the December floods,” said Keith Squires, Director of the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management (DEM). “We hope this request to the President elicits the same kind of aid to our affected counties. They worked overtime to minimize flooding damage and our hats go off to them.”
DEM staff worked closely with FEMA officials to draft the letter. According to preliminary damage assessments completed by the joint team from FEMA, the State and local agencies, it appears the State has sustained about $12.7 million in eligible damages and could be eligible for approximately $9.5 million in assistance under the Stafford Act.
If the President approves the State’s request for a presidential disaster declaration, state and/or local agencies must match 25 percent of the total federal assistance package.