The Senate Appropriations committee has approved a bill to pay for cleanup and repairs from last month’s Northwest floods.
The committee adopted language proposed by Sen. Dirk Kempthorne, R-Idaho, to bring the levees in Benewah County to a 10-year flood standard.
After the improvements, the levees would be included in the Army Corps of Engineers’ maintenance program.
“This bill provides specific authority for the Economic Development Administration to repair levees not included in the Corps of Engineers program, which is critical to communities like St. Maries.”
The committee also approved a request by Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, to fund a number of agriculture programs, including the Agriculture Conservation and Conservation Reserve programs.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates emergency cleanup and repairs in Idaho will cost nearly $13 million.
The legislation funds FEMA, the corps, the Small Business Administration and other agencies with programs that can help in flooded areas.
The full Senate is expected to consider the legislation by the end of next week.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Flood help Disaster recovery centers in North Idaho are changing the hours they are open to help flood victims. Disaster recovery centers in Kellogg, St. Maries and Moscow will be closed Sundays beginning March 10. The centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. In addition, the St. Maries center is moving from the Presbyterian Church to the Washington Water Power Building, effective Monday, March 11. People who are applying for disaster assistance now can call between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The telephone number is 1-800-462-9029. To inquire about disaster assistance programs, or about an application or to update application information, call 1-800-525-0321 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There now also is help for people who have exhausted all avenues of assistance, but have financial obligations they cannot meet, said Gary W. Davis, state coordinating officer for disaster recovery. The “Individual and Family Grants” can be used to cover essential home repairs, replacement of personal property, transportation, and disaster-related medical and dental bills, he said. To qualify people must apply for a Small Business Administration Loan and be rejected. For more information, call 1-800-525-0321 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.