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Governor Kate Brown Requests $2 Million for Wallowa Hailstorm Recovery

SALEM — Governor Kate Brown today requested that the Legislature approve $2 million to help the residents of the City of Wallowa recover from damage sustained in August’s devastating hailstorm.

“This community has been left reeling from this severe hailstorm, and I hope that we can come together to help address this emergency,” said Governor Brown in a letter addressed to Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Dan Rayfield. “I have heard firsthand from residents within the community, met with the mayor of Wallowa, and talked with county leadership about the tremendous damage that was sustained during this severe storm.

“As the storm traveled from the mountains toward the community, the west-facing side of nearly every home and car became damaged. In the community today, almost every home and business that faces west has windows that are boarded up and siding and roofs that are left in disrepair. The City of Wallowa is a small, remote rural community with many low-income community members that live on fixed incomes, and many are either uninsured or underinsured.”

While the City of Wallowa has declared a local emergency, the damage sustained would not make the City eligible for federal disaster relief. However, the Oregon Department of Emergency Management has determined that Wallowa County is a qualified recipient that would be eligible for a grant award under the Oregon Local Disaster Assistance Loan and Grant Account if state funding is made available. The disaster assistance account is identified in ORS 401.536(2)(c) as a potential funding source for these qualified recipients in response to localized events that do not meet the threshold of a federally declared event.

Governor Brown’s full letter to the Legislature is available here.

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