Governor seeks storm aid
Gov. Kate Brown is asking the federal government for help for the victims of the May 30 storm that caused massive damage in Culver and Metolius.
Annette Liebe, Brown's staffer in Central Oregon, took the lead on seeking help, according to County Administrator Jeff Rasmussen, and Monday, June 22, Brown sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue requesting a Secretarial Disaster Designation for Jefferson, Deschutes, Crook, Hood River, Wasco and Morrow counties.
"The damage caused by the storm was not going to hit a monetary threshold for a typical FEMA disaster request," County Administrator Jeff Rasmussen said. "Annette continuously kept asking what other federal programs could be unlocked for the damages done to private property and the agricultural industry."
In her letter, Brown listed the programs that could provide relief and encouraged Perdue to seek federal assistance.
"Oregon has a proud history of a vibrant and diverse agrarian culture that provides economic stability and opportunities to our local communities," Brown wrote. "Oregon's farmers and ranchers are experiencing hardships stemming from the COVID-19 public health crisis, unpredictable wildfires, and recently, a devastating storm. ... The damage sustained included severe crop impacts, the destruction of agricultural buildings, equipment, and irrigation systems, uprooted trees in fields, and damage to critical utility infrastructure."
She asked Perdue to access five separate programs to provide assistance with everything from repairs to haying and grazing acreage for livestock producers to emergency farm loans.
"Our communities look to us for leadership in times of need," Brown wrote, adding that she looks forward to working with the USDA "to assist Oregon's rural communities during this difficult time."
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