Governor Jan Brewer announced Friday that President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster for eight Arizona counties and six tribal nations, committing the release of federal funds to rebuild state and local government infrastructure damaged by the January storms.
A decision on Brewer’s request for monies to pay for damage to individuals' properties and businesses is still under review.
Brewer has already declared emergencies in Gila, Apache, Coconino, Greenlee, La Paz, Mohave, Navajo, and Yavapai counties, and sought assistance from the federal government for funding for those areas, as well as for the Gila River Indian Community, the Hopi Tribe, San Carlos Apache and White Mountain Apache Tribes, and the Tohono O’odham and Navajo Nations.
"This funding is critical toward repairing and rebuilding public infrastructure in Arizona damaged by the severe winter storms," said Brewer.
An initial damage assessment of public infrastructure is estimated to be $11.7 million.
To help residents, the state has coordinated the formation of Long-Term Recovery Committees in the communities hardest impacted to provide assistance with disaster-related unmet needs not addressed by insurance or government programs.
Long-Term Recovery Committees bring together representatives from the community, local organizations, businesses, and faith-based partners and join them with organizations that are part of Arizona Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, including the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, the Mennonites and Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest.
Based on the declaration, the State of Arizona and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations can apply for reimbursement of eligible costs. FEMA reimbursement covers emergency response costs, emergency protective measures, debris removal, and the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities.
The declaration also makes available federal funding to Arizona and local governments for hazard mitigation actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from future natural or technological hazards.