September 13, 2019 3:50 a.m.
Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced on Thursday that $150 million is now available to help rural communities recover from substantial damages and losses caused by the severe winter storms earlier this year.
Those storms closed roads and left many without power for weeks.
The release said nine Oregon counties including Douglas are eligible to apply for the grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which were funded in the $19.1 billion disaster relief package that passed Congress over the summer.
Merkley said communities across Oregon faced dire consequences from the intense storms last winter. He said in some cases, families and businesses struggled for weeks without power or other basic resources and “many still live with the financial consequences of those storms”.
Wyden said “these resources will help Oregon to recover by reducing the likelihood of long-term damages from the short-term weather disasters”.
A state of emergency was declared in nine counties due to the storm, according to the release. Municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and tribal nations in those counties are eligible to apply for the disaster relief grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Program, helping to fund a wide variety of recovery projects.