Begich Applauds President’s Response to Alaska Disaster Request

U.S. Senator Mark Begich is praising the Obama Administration for responding to his request and that of the State of Alaska to issue a federal disaster declaration following record flooding in several Interior communities.

“I am pleased the president and his administration are recognizing the dire circumstances experienced by many Alaskans impacted by this flooding. We welcome the federal assistance to help residents and communities put their lives back together,” Sen. Begich said.

Below is the news release from the White House:

June 11, 2009

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Alaska and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by flooding and ice jams beginning on April 28, 2009, and continuing.

The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in The Alaska Gateway Regional Educational Attendance Area (REAA), the Kuspuk REAA, the Yukon Flats REAA, and the Yukon-Koyukuk REAA.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home 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 State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the flooding and ice jams in the Alaska Gateway Regional Educational Attendance Area (REAA), the Kuspuk REAA, the Lower Kuskokwin REAA, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the Yukon Flats REAA, and the Yupiit REAA.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Douglas G. Mayne as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed.

FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.