SALEM — Today, a federal disaster declaration has been declared in the State of Oregon ordering federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides from February 23-26 in Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jefferson and Lane Counties.
Heavy snow knocked down trees or tree limbs into spans of power lines and encased lines with snow and ice, causing major power outages and damaging transportation routes. Major roadways were impacted due to landslides, high water, and fallen trees including the closure of Highway 58 that left many residents of the city of Oakridge cut off from critical services and without power for days, or even weeks in some cases.
A joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) conducted by the Office of Emergency Management and FEMA for local governments and certain private nonprofits for potential financial federal assistance under FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program documented more than $30 million in damages. The PDA was conducted from April 8-12 to assess the damages.
This process involved coordinating with local emergency managers, public works departments, and utilities to document damages and costs associated with the repair of critical infrastructure, power, and roadways. The most severe impacts were damages to public utilities, roads, culverts, debris removal and emergency protective measures.
This disaster declaration makes federal funding is available to the 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 severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides in the five eligible counties.