President Declares Emergency for Southern Colorado

President Bush is declaring a state of emergency for parts of Colorado in the wake of last month's winter storms.

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jerry DeFelice says 13 counties, including Denver, Boulder and Pueblo, are included for the December 18th to 22nd blizzard.

The move opens the way for FEMA to reimburse local governments and some civilian agencies for snow removal, police overtime, shelter operations and emergency medical care.

A second disaster has been declared for Otero County for the December 28th to 31st storm.

DeFelice says more counties surrounding Otero, in southeastern Colorado, will likely be added as more weather data is confirmed.

DeFelice says the FEMA aid is strictly for snow removal and the care or protection of people affected by the storms.

Today's emergency declaration does NOT trigger low-interest loans to ranchers in southern Colorado who risk losing cattle to starvation and dehydration.

FEMA congressional affairs specialist Thomas Glen says the state's request for economic relief for ranchers remains under review.

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