The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Becomes the First Tribe to Receive Presidential Disaster Declaration

The White House announced on Friday that President Obama signed a disaster declaration for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians due to the damage done by sever storms and landslides in mid January. In the press release issued by the White House, it stated, “The President today declared a major disaster exists for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and ordered Federal aid to supplement the Tribe’s efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of January 14-17, 2013.” In response to the President’s decision, W. Craig Fugate, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Michael Bolch as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. Bolch will work extensively with Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Emergency Management Coordinator, Mollie Grant, to see that Federal aid assists in the recovery efforts from the recent disaster.