For immediate release: Jun 08, 2008
Posted by: [GOV]
Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

Daniels adds 13 counties to disaster declaration

INDIANAPOLIS (June  8, 2008) - Governor Mitch Daniels today added 13 more counties to the emergency disaster declaration he signed on Saturday because of flooding that has destroyed or caused severe damage to homes, business and structures because of heavy rains and flooding.

The governor signed Executive Order 08-11 to add Bartholomew, Daviess, Decatur, Franklin, Henry, Jackson, Jennings, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, Sullivan, Union and Wayne to the disaster declaration. On Saturday, the governor declared a disaster for Brown, Clay, Greene, Johnson, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Shelby, Vermillion and Vigo counties.

"Hoosiers are being incredibly caring about each other while dealing with adversity," said the governor, who surveyed flood damage Sunday in Columbus, Martinsville, Paragon and Terre Haute. "People who have lost everything were trying to cheer me up."

After viewing the severity of damage and the widespread area it covers, Daniels said he is completely convinced the state will qualify for federal disaster assistance and he will seek expedited federal relief to get help to Hoosiers. The state will complete a separate assessment of the impact to agriculture property.

The governor said there was a striking difference between Saturday's water levels and today's water levels in communities like Paragon, where water was receding. "But that means it's going up somewhere else," he said.

Indiana National Guard members were being sent to southern Indiana areas, such as Owen, Greene, Daviess, Pike, Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh and Knox counties, to begin sandbagging in advance of water moving downstream. More than 800 National Guardsmen are assisting with security, sandbagging reconnaissance, search and rescue, and other duties.

The Department of Homeland Security's Emergency Operations Center was activated Saturday morning and continues to respond to requests for assistance from local officials. In addition to the National Guard and Homeland Security, the Department of Natural Resources, Indiana State Police, State Department of Health, Civil Air Patrol, Indiana Department of Transportation and Indiana Department of Environmental Management are playing major roles in providing assistance. The Department of Transportation, for example, has filled a sinkhole on I-70 at the 30-mile marker and I-70 west bound was expected to be reopened by late afternoon.

The disaster declarations signed by the governor mean the state Department of Homeland Security can take needed actions to provide expanded emergency services and is a step needed to request assistance from the federal government.

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Media contact: Jane Jankowski, Office of the Governor, 317/232-1622, jjankowski@gov.in.gov

Media contact: John Erickson, Department of Homeland Security, 317/234-4214, jerickson@dhs.in.gov

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