Press Release--Lewis Commends President for Declaring Disaster for December Storms

For immediate release                                               

January 26, 2011                                                                         


Lewis Commends President for Declaring Disaster for December Storms


WASHINGTON – Congressman Jerry Lewis Wednesday commended President Obama for declaring a major disaster for the devastating December storms in San Bernardino County. The decision will allow all public agencies to submit claims for reimbursement for damage to infrastructure and actions they took in response to the floods.


“I am relieved that the President has accepted the recommendation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide disaster relief for our cities, counties and local agencies, who were overwhelmed by the terrible floods in December,” Lewis said. “This relief is essential to helping San Bernardino County to put things back in order and prepare for any further storms this winter.”


While the declaration cleared the way for public assistance to all California counties, federal officials are still reviewing damage to private property to see if it meets the threshold for FEMA relief grants. Lewis promised to push for aid for those constituents who lost their homes or suffered major damage during the floods.


There are a number of avenues available for individual relief, including possible very low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration, Lewis noted.


“We will be working with county and state officials to make it clear to federal agencies that many of my constituents need help recovering from these storms,” Lewis said. “I hope to convince them to move as soon as possible to help that recovery get started.”


State and federal disaster relief officials have already been reviewing the damage in the county, and should be establishing local numbers for assistance soon, Lewis said.


More information is available on the assistance to public agency program on FEMA’s web site at