Federal funding is now available for those affected by flooding in Johnson and Niobrara counties.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Management Agency announced that the disaster aid was made available to the state of Wyoming on Tuesday.  The President’s action means that federal aid will help supplement state and local recover efforts for individuals who were affected by the flooding during May 24-June 6, 2015

“What this will do is allow for individuals and businesses to access some federal financial assistance and some directs services,” says Kelly Ruiz, Public Information Officer with Wyoming Homeland Security.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Ruiz says many people in Johnson and Niobrara Counties may need assistance. In total, 14 homes were destroyed, 50 sustained major damage, 95 had minor damage, and 17 received some sort of damage from flooding.

Thomas J. McCool has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.  McCool said additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted.

This declaration applies to individuals and businesses, but does not apply to public assistance, including critical infrastructure such as roadways, culverts, and utilities. Four counties in Wyoming, Albany, Platte, Niobrara and Johnson Counties, have requested public assistance declarations. Ruiz says the public assistance declaration for the state are still under review, and there is no timeline as to when it may be accepted.

Ruiz says it is important for individuals and business owners who sustained losses to begin the assistance process by registering. This can be done by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov.

Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

In addition, those seeking assistance can call the Wyoming Homeland Security office at (307) 777-4900 for help through the process.

Ruiz says the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security will help those needing assistance through the whole process.

“Our office is going to work with the local communities along with FEMA to ensure that people get the help they need,” says Ruiz.

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