D.C. Gets Federal Disaster Funds for Quake

Posted November 9, 2011 at 3:31pm

President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

It’s a win for Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who has been lobbying the federal government for months to respond to the fallout of the magnitude-5.8 earthquake that hit the region Aug. 23.

“In this time of economic hardship and budget deficits, we could hardly expect the District to find the millions of dollars needed to fix the schools and other buildings damaged by an unexpected natural disaster like the earthquake,” Norton said in a statement released this afternoon.

Her office said that D.C. has an estimated $6.8 million in damage to local government buildings, including schools. The National Cathedral was struck by the earthquake and needs $15 million worth of repairs.

Obama’s declaration stated that Washington is enduring a “major disaster” and ordered federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts.

Funding will be made available to the city and “certain nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis” for repairs on facilities that were damaged during the earthquake.

A White House statement announcing the federal emergency funds also named Kim Kadesch as the federal coordinating officer for the recovery effort in the region.