Bush Allows Aid for Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas After Blizzards

President Bush signed emergency declarations allowing federal aid to help Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas recover from back-to-back blizzards that shut down highways and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes.

Thirteen Colorado counties — including the cities of Denver, Boulder and Pueblo — were included in the declaration issued Sunday for the Dec. 18-22 blizzard. A second declaration was issued for Otero County in southeastern Colorado for the Dec. 28-31 storm, Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jerry DeFelice said.

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.

Colorado's request for economic relief for ranchers at risk of losing cattle because of the storms remains under review, said FEMA congressional affairs specialist Thomas Glen.

In Nebraska, a declaration issued Sunday will help 57 counties affected by widespread power outages caused by the storms, FEMA said.

In Kansas, 44 counties and some nonprofit organizations in the western part of the state will receive aid for debris removal and other emergency measures.