News release – Gov. Herbert declares “State of Emergency” for February Flooding
UPDATE 4/21/17: Utah requested and received a major disaster declaration from the president.
Legal document in place for FEMA to begin review process of $6.7 million in estimated infrastructure damages
For immediate release
March 31, 2017
SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Gary R. Herbert has issued an executive order declaring a “State of Emergency” in Utah as a result of flooding in Box Elder and Cache counties between Feb. 7 and Feb. 27.
The Governor’s declaration (PDF Word) notes that flooding caused severe damage to roads, bridges, culverts, homes, businesses, utilities, and to other private and public facilities and agriculture, overburdening the communities.
During February, Cache and Box Elder counties, as well as the cities of Garland and Brigham City, issued local emergency declarations.
Though most of the emergency protective measures in those counties have been completed, Gov. Herbert’s emergency declaration is an important legal document that needs to be in place before he could request a major disaster declaration for the affected areas of the state from the President of the United States.
During February and March, the Utah Division of Emergency Management has been working with affected communities to get resources to them and then to identify eligible damages to public infrastructure. Currently, those estimates stand at $6.7 million.
The next step is for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to review Utah’s damage estimates to validate the amounts submitted. After that, the State will determine whether to submit a request to the President to declare a Major Disaster for Utah, which could then provide federal reimbursement assistance for Box Elder and Cache counties through the Public Assistance (PA) Program.
Flooding is the most common natural disaster in Utah and the United States. Utah has received 11 major disaster declarations in its history. Nine of those have been for flooding. See the current State of Utah Emergency Operations Center status here.
The Utah Division of Emergency Management (dem.utah.gov) is the State’s lead agency for coordinating state resources in a disaster. Utah DEM also conducts emergency preparedness efforts before a disaster through its Be Ready Utah program (BeReadyUtah.gov). Be Ready Utah aims to help families, businesses, schools and communities get ready for disaster. CERT belongs to the Be Ready Utah communities initiative.
Joe Dougherty, public information officer
Utah Department of Public Safety
Division of Emergency Management