Senate Democrats

Nevada Congressional Delegation Supports Governor’s Call For Federal Aid

State ravaged by heavy snow and rainfall, floods

Washington, D.C. – Nevada’s Congressional delegation joined forces today to secure federal assistance for the damage caused by record snow storms in all 17 counties and heavy flooding in Clark and Lincoln Counties.

Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, and Congressmen Jim Gibbons and Jon Porter sent a letter to President Bush urging him to support Governor Kenny Guinn’s requests to issue presidential disaster declarations for the state. Declarations will make federal aid more accessible to Nevadans who were impacted by these recent natural disasters.

A copy of the letter follows:

February 4, 2005

The Honorable George W. Bush President The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

Over the past several weeks the people of Nevada have faced a series of natural disasters. Snow storms in late December and early January were so severe that they forced the closure of major highways, international airports, government agencies, private businesses and public schools. Blizzard conditions in Northern Nevada were followed by major flooding in Clark and Lincoln Counties that damaged homes, businesses, private and public lands, and water and transportation infrastructure. Raging waters from the flood washed out nearly 80 miles of mainline railroad track, halting trade between California and the Intermountain West.

In the wake of these natural disasters, we are writing to urge you to issue three presidential disaster declarations which have been officially requested by the State of Nevada. Securing these declarations is necessary to ensure that Nevadans may access essential federal aid that will be needed to recover from this damage. Presidential declarations will remove barriers to a range of services, including temporary housing assistance for those who have been displaced, grants and loans for home repair, small business loans and other special considerations for injured businesses, legal services, crisis counseling, hazard mitigation to prevent future losses, and partial reimbursement for emergency-related costs incurred by local governments.

We urge you to work with Nevada’s Governor Kenny Guinn in accordance with the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5206, to expeditiously issue these declarations. We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter and hope that you will work with us in bringing comfort and aid to those citizens whose lives have been unexpectedly and unalterably affected by these disasters.