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Feds say no to help for Malheur County storm recovery

The Enterprise

Malheur County agencies won’t be getting any help from the federal government to recover from the winter storms under a decision disclosed late Friday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency notified Gov. Kate Brown that it was turning down her request for a federal disaster declaration for Malheur County and nine other counties.

“The damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments,” wrote Robert Fenton, acting administrator of FEMA. “We have determined that supplemental federal assistance is not necessary.”

Brown said in a statement Friday she would appeal the denial.

“I committed to the people I met in Ontario that I’d do everything to expedite recovery efforts,” Brown said. “We will resubmit Oregon’s request for federal assistance to help struggling rural communities rebuild and bring back jobs to local economies . . .