Gov. Kate Brown on Friday requested the Legislature to direct $2 million to the town of Wallowa to help recover from an intense hailstorm that hit the region in August.
“As the storm traveled from the mountains toward the community, the west-facing side of nearly every home and car became damaged,” Brown wrote in a letter to Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Dan Rayfield. “In the community today, almost every home and business that faces west has windows that are boarded up and siding and roofs that are left in disrepair.”
I've requested that the Legislature approve $2 million to help the residents of Wallowa recover from the tremendous damage sustained in August’s devastating hailstorm. This community has been left reeling, and I hope that we can come together to help address this emergency.— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) September 23, 2022
On Aug. 11, a severe thunderstorm rolled through Wallowa County. The town of Wallowa itself — where more than 800 people live — was right in the path of the storm. Brown said the remote, rural community is home to many low-income families who live on fixed incomes, and many don’t have homeowners or renters insurance, and if they do, they are likely underinsured.
The hailstorm also injured several people. Mayor Gary Hulse, who also volunteers with the local fire department, told OPB that he saw people with numerous bruises and cuts, as well as a woman who broke her arm.
Without a federal disaster declaration, the city is reliant on the state to help provide disaster assistance. Brown said it’s eligible for a grant award through the Oregon Local Disaster Assistance Loan and Grant Account, if the Legislature makes it available.