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Lugar, Bayh join governor in aid request

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Clay County will be eligible for federal disaster aid if a request by Gov. Mitch Daniels and Senators Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar is approved.

The senators from Indiana requested a Major Disaster Area Declaration for Clay and 63 other counties in Indiana. The request would affect about two-thirds of Indiana's 92 counties. Their support was expressed in a letter to President Bush dated Tuesday.

The letter included the statement, "We hope careful consideration will be given to the Governor's request. Timely federal assistance is essential to helping Indiana communities recover."

The federal declaration would include any of the following types of assistance for Hoosiers:

- Disaster housing assistance, including temporary housing and minimal home repair to make the homes livable again.

- Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration for homeowners, renters or business owners.

- Grants through the Individuals and Households Family Grant Program to meet serious, immediate needs that cannot be met by other sources.

The request came following severe storms that have caused flooding earlier this week. Concerned with the damage to Hoosier homes, public facilities and infrastructure, Bayh and Lugar urged President Bush to act quickly so hundreds of Hoosiers without homes and electricity can begin receiving aid to help rebuild their homes and businesses.

"This declaration would bring much needed funding to Hoosiers who have suffered flood damage to their homes and businesses," Sen. Bayh said in a released statement. "We must do everything we can to help Hoosiers who have lost their homes and jobs due to the recent severe weather. Gov. Daniels, Sen. Lugar and I will continue working now to ensure that these Hoosiers receive the funding they need to rebuild their lives after December's major snowstorm and now the extensive floods."

Sen. Lugar called the disaster one of "incredible proportions."

"I strongly support Gov. Daniels' request which would bring these 64 counties and countless cities much needed assistance."

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