Counties declared disaster areas

Publication Date: Wednesday Feb 11, 1998

Counties declared disaster areas

Federal financial aid available for flood victims

President Clinton on Monday declared 27 California counties federal disaster areas, among them Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. The president was responding to an official request for disaster help from Gov. Pete Wilson.

"Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and property owners recover from the effects of the disaster," said a White House press release.

Both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties were listed among those where individual assistance programs will be available. That means that local residents who lost property and belongings in the flood may be eligible to receive funds to help replace what they lost.

The relief programs will be administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Residents and business owners who suffered losses in the flooding can apply for assistance by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired. The toll-free number will be in operation 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

In his letter to the president, Wilson indicated that the state's resources are being taxed to the maximum by the widespread emergency, with more than 7,000 state workers providing disaster relief or working to open roads.

Wilson's request for help was supported by other California lawmakers, including Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, who wrote FEMA in support of Wilson's request.

--Don Kazak

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