President Declares Disasters in CO, WV and Receives Request for PA

July 30, 2013; 4:49 AM ET
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President Barack Obama on Friday, issued disaster declarations for wildfires in Colorado and flooding in West Virginia that occurred in June.

The president's declarations cover the Colorado Black Forest and and Royal Gorge wildfires in mid-June.

The president's decision makes federal funding available to state, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the wildfires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a news release.

Firefighter Brandie Smith from Salida, Colo., walks past a burned out structure on the Black Forest wildfire north of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, June 17, 2013. President Barack Obama on Friday, June 26, 2013, issued disaster declarations for the Black Forest and Royal Gorge fires in Colorado. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

The Black Forest Fire consumed more than 14,280 acres; more than 500 structures were destroyed, InciWeb said on its website. The size of the Royal Gorge Fire was 3,218 acres.

A declaration was issued for Mason and Roane counties in West Virginia for damage from storms in mid-June. The storms severely affected Spencer, W.Va., in Roane County, with flooding exceeding the 100-year flood plain, and a heavily traveled bridge in Mason County, the office of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said.

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The president also received a request from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett to issue a disaster declaration for 14 Pennsylvania counties -- Allegheny, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Fayette, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Schuylkill, Venango, Washington and Wayne -- affected by flooding and other severe weather that started in late June.

Damage and costs were almost $20 million.

If approved by the president, the Public Assistance program could pay 75 percent of the approved cost of debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities, Corbett's office said in a news release.

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