BOISE, Idaho (KLIX) – State officials say they will continue to explore opportunities to assist communities affected by storm damage after FEMA rejected an appeal on Tuesday for funding assistance. 

Several Idaho communities, including some in the Magic Valley, were affected by severe weather this past winter. The state had hoped to receive funding for at least five counties: Ada, Canyon, Custer, Payette and Washington.

FEMA Holds Briefing On Response To Aftermath Of Hurricane Gustav
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“Our disappointment that FEMA has denied our request does not impact the State’s efforts. We will continue to work closely with the counties affected,” Brad Richy, deputy chief of the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, said in a prepared statement.

In a letter dated Tuesday, FEMA Acting Administrator Robert Fenton rejected an appeal of the agency’s decision to deny Idaho’s bid for federal assistance to the five counties.

“After a thorough review of all the information contained in your initial request and appeal," Fenton wrote, "we reaffirm our original findings that the impact from this event is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration."

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter expressed frustration, saying:

The window is closed for this particular effort to get federal help addressing snow-related destruction and preventing additional damage statewide. But we have one Presidential Disaster Declaration approved and another pending, so we’re exploring every opportunity to help our communities address their most serious recovery needs.”

Richy said the appeal “was an important continuation of our efforts to work on behalf of the counties to ensure that every available resource has been pursued fully.”

According to information from the Governor’s Office, President Donald J. Trump last week signed a Presidential Disaster Declaration, making available federal relief in response to flooding from Feb. 5-March 3 in Cassia, Franklin, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Twin Falls and Washington counties.

Still pending is a federal disaster declaration for flooding, landslides and avalanches from March 6-April 3 in Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Shoshone and Valley counties.

Source: State of Idaho, Governor's Office

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