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President Trump signs major disaster declaration for Oregon

The Presidential Disaster Declaration will free up significant assistance from the federal government for recovery efforts in areas hammered by wildfires.

Posted: Sep 15, 2020 6:34 PM
Updated: Sep 15, 2020 6:45 PM

PHOENIX, Ore. — Phoenix Mayor Chris Luz was waiting for a live interview on NewsWatch 12 Tuesday evening when he got the call from Representative Greg Walden's office, saying that President Donald Trump had approved a major disaster declaration for Oregon.

"That means that we can start to get troops on the ground here, and money flowing through state agencies to Phoenix," Luz said. "Overall it's really good news . . . what we need are footsoldiers on the ground who are experts in disaster relief and recovery."

Congressman Peter DeFazio confirmed the news of Trump's approval minutes later, saying that he had heard from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that the President had signed the declaration on Air Force One Tuesday afternoon.

“The damage from the wildfires across Oregon is catastrophic, and the scale of the recovery is beyond the capabilities of the state,” said DeFazio. “I’m grateful for the White House’s swift action in declaring a Major Disaster. This decision will make more Federal aid available for survivors of the fires and give communities the resources they need to start to rebuild.”

Oregon's Congressional delegation has been urging the declaration's swift approval since Governor Kate Brown requested it on Monday. This major disaster declaration follows an earlier, more limited federal emergency declaration issued on September 10, which brought some resources from FEMA into the state.

"Oregon is strong. Oregon is resilient. But to fight fires of this scale, we need all the help we can get," said Governor Brown on Monday. "I am grateful for this federal support, which will help us to both address urgent disaster response needs on the ground, and move towards recovery."

Brown's office said that the major disaster declaration allows for additional communications resources, search and rescue support, debris management, and shelter and medical assistance.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office issued an update on Tuesday afternoon, saying that assessments of the damage in Phoenix and Talent from the Almeda Fire are now estimated at 2,357 residential structures destroyed and 57 damaged.

"On Monday, I spoke with President Trump and urged swift approval of Oregon’s Major Disaster Declaration and I am grateful for his quick response," said Congressman Walden. "This declaration will help make assistance available to both individuals devastated by the fire and our communities across the state as they recover and rebuild. The tragic wildfires in Oregon mean we all need to work together to help those who have lost so much. We will recover and rebuild and come back stronger."

Walden's office said that people in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion Counties can register with FEMA the following ways:

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33291

Reported Deaths: 555
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7257140
Marion474395
Washington458160
Umatilla299841
Clackamas244862
Malheur164230
Lane126717
Jackson11715
Deschutes85912
Yamhill76914
Jefferson5458
Polk53515
Linn52513
Morrow5096
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3226
Wasco2963
Klamath2902
Hood River2520
Douglas2394
Clatsop2180
Josephine2032
Columbia1821
Coos1580
Baker952
Crook631
Tillamook530
Lake330
Wallowa321
Curry310
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 815654

Reported Deaths: 15782
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2692846551
Riverside591731216
San Bernardino54849952
Orange535571249
San Diego46985781
Kern32019369
Fresno28517390
Sacramento22438412
Alameda21323408
Santa Clara21294318
San Joaquin20357447
Contra Costa16702206
Stanislaus16496359
Tulare16071263
Ventura12812150
Imperial11877317
San Francisco11238101
Monterey1000872
San Mateo9950150
Santa Barbara9133113
Merced8939143
Kings766180
Sonoma7412122
Marin6727118
Solano641969
Madera455765
San Luis Obispo359729
Placer359645
Butte283744
Yolo282555
Santa Cruz23799
Sutter171711
Napa170513
San Benito134811
Yuba11588
El Dorado11444
Mendocino93918
Shasta88320
Lassen7410
Glenn5933
Tehama5795
Lake55911
Nevada5407
Colusa5326
Humboldt5098
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa762
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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Grants Pass
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Klamath Falls
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