Note from Bill:
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on June 3, visited President Bush at the White House on June 4, and left Washington on June 5 after three days of meetings on the land of Israel.
Toward the middle of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's 75-minute June 4 meeting with President Bush, a violent storm with wind gusts of 55 to 70 mph hit the Washington, D.C., area. Up to 500,000 residences and businesses were without power. Some areas of Washington were without power for 24 to 48 hours.
Today, President Bush declared a major disaster for Wisconsin for events that began on June 5 and are continuing.
The Mississippi River flood is now expected to be as bad or worse than the historic flood of the summer of 1993, which coincided with the Oslo peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Rice is arriving in Israel later Saturday and will hold separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Sunday. The Jerusalem Post reported, the visit is part of the intense US effort to prod the sides toward a final peace agreement by the end of the year.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Paris, France) _______________________________ For Immediate Release June 14, 2008
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Wisconsin and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding beginning on June 5, 2008, and continuing.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals Columbia, Crawford, Milwaukee, Sauk, and Vernon Counties.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
R. David Paulison, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Dolph A. Diemont as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.