For immediate release: Sep 23, 2008
Posted by: [GOV]
Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

Three counties approved for federal assistance

INDIANAPOLIS (September 23, 2008 ) -- Governor Mitch Daniels received word late this afternoon that President George W. Bush has approved Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties for federal assistance for homeowners, renters and businesses damaged by flooding that began September 12.

In addition, he said the state will partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Red Cross to open three one-stop disaster assistance centers in northwest Indiana beginning Thursday to help residents impacted by the severe weather.

"We appreciate the quick turnaround to our request and the ongoing cooperation we've received from FEMA since last summer's record flooding in other areas of the state to partner with us to help Hoosiers," said Daniels.

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

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in those counties can begin applying for FEMA assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.fema.gov/assistance 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 be available for flood victims in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties beginning tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. local time. Callers should use disaster number 1795 when they call and are asked to be patient.

Daniels sent a letter to the President on Saturday to request federal individual assistance for the counties. He also said that he would reserve the right to request the public assistance program and may request assistance for other counties that received severe damage from the remnants of Hurricane Ike, including Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Floyd, Jasper, Jefferson, Jennings, Harrison, Martin, Newton, Perry, Scott, Spencer and Switzerland.

Note to editors: Andy Miller, the director of the state's Office of Disaster Recovery and Joe Wainscott, director of the state Department of Homeland Security will join with FEMA and local government representatives for a news conference tomorrow at 10 a.m. Central time to discuss the one-stop assistance centers. The news conference will take place at the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 7770 Corinne Drive in Hammond.

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