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Richardson Campaign Press Release - Governor Richardson to Meet With FEMA Director to Push For Federal Assistance for Eastern New Mexico

March 27, 2007

Federal teams in Logan and Clovis today to evaluate damage 

Governor Bill Richardson will meet with David Paulison, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington DC tomorrow. Governor Richardson will urge Paulison to approve his request for federal assistance for tornado damaged areas in Curry, Quay, and Roosevelt counties. The Governor will be accompanied by Congressman Tom Udall.

"The damage to these New Mexico communities, specifically Clovis and Logan, was catastrophic and the citizens need federal funds to get back on their feet and get things back to normal," Governor Richardson said. "I will personally plead our case to FEMA, and also urge the Director to help cut the red tape and get an answer for our citizens."

In Clovis over five hundred homes and businesses were affected on March 23rd by a tornado that ripped through the community. The smaller community of Logan sustained damage to over fifty five homes. Over the weekend, the Office of Emergency Management conducted a rapid needs assessment.

Rep. Udall, who will return to Washington late Tuesday from visiting the areas affected by the tornados added, "The tremendous force with which these tornados struck the Eastside has left many families homeless and financially strapped. I am very impressed by the collective spirit in the community, and the stellar performance of the local and state emergency management officials as we begin to pick up the pieces. I've met with the FEMA officials on the ground in New Mexico, and the damage is incredible. I look forward to meeting with Director Paulison to emphasize the urgent need for federal funds to start flowing our way so we can begin rebuilding the area."

Today FEMA joined state and local officials in conducting a preliminary damage assessment. This damage assessment is expected to last two days and will determine if there is sufficient damage to qualify for a federal disaster. FEMA inspectors look more deeply at what is eligible and estimate costs. If eligible, the Governor will request Public Assistance program and Individual Assistance program from the Office of the President. FEMA may be able to provide temporary housing, repair, replacement, and permanent housing construction to qualified households. Other housing needs are provided for disaster related medical or dental costs, clothing, household items, tools, cleanup items, damaged vehicles, or other necessary expenses or serious needs as determined by FEMA.

The presidential disaster declaration request, if granted, would make Clovis and Logan eligible for reimbursement from the federal government. A presidential declaration is a difficult order to obtain and the timeline for the process is unknown.

The Governor has declared a disaster in Curry, Quay, and Roosevelt counties which frees up state funds for emergency response and clean up. The FEMA assistance, which would come in the form of a Presidential disaster declaration, would make qualified counties eligible for reimbursement from the federal government. Costs that could be covered include labor, equipment, materials, and contract work associated with the cleanup and restoration to pre-existing conditions.

Bill Richardson, Richardson Campaign Press Release - Governor Richardson to Meet With FEMA Director to Push For Federal Assistance for Eastern New Mexico Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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