FEMA aid coming to some panhandle counties - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

FEMA aid coming to some panhandle counties

Snow drift in Friona, Parmer County Snow drift in Friona, Parmer County
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Snow drifts in Bovina, Parmer County Snow drifts in Bovina, Parmer County

DEAF SMITH COUNTY, TX (KFDA) - Several counties in the area are still repairing damages caused by the Christmastime blizzard, and this week President Obama approved disaster relief aid from FEMA for eight panhandle counties.

Together these counties will receive millions of dollars to offset damage costs from the blizzard.

Parmer, Castro, Deaf Smith and Childress counties together are receiving more than $3 million for various damage costs.

"The ones that our counties are probably most concerned about are damages to road and infrastructure," said John Kiel, Regional Service Director for the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission (PRPC). "But you had electrical co-ops in each of the declared counties that lost poles and wiring that will now have to be replaced."

Aid will also be going to Bailey, Hall, Lamb and Hardeman counties.

Deaf Smith County alone will receive $1.2 million that will be shared with the City of Hereford.

"You think that's a big number, but a lot of people don't realize just how many roads we have," said D.J. Wagner, Deaf Smith County Judge. "We have over 1,000 miles of roads in Deaf Smith County that we have to maintain and look after. So you start compounding that, and there's a lot to get to that number."

Wagner said most of their costs went toward rescuing cars and people caught in the snow.

This money will reimburse the work the county has already been doing, keeping the county budget sound.

"FEMA doesn't cut a check the day of the declaration," said Kiehl. "It's gonna take some time for all that paperwork to occur. But I think all the counties in our region now have some assurances that if they move forward and start making those repairs, there is going to be some assistance coming down the road from FEMA."

Pending approval, Kiehl said Donley County may soon be able to benefit from this aid as well.

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