Merkley, Wyden Announce $4 Million in FEMA Grants for Wildfire Recovery and Infrastructure Repair

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Oregonians continue to recover from the devastating wildfires in 2020 that destroyed entire communities in Lane County, Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced millions of dollars in grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that will support projects repairing infrastructure that was severely damaged by wildfire and wind.

“Wildfires and intense winds caused significant damage in Lane County, where electrical systems that are essential to daily living and the health and safety of thousands of Oregonians were severely damaged,” said Merkley. “I am pleased that these grants will help the Eugene Water and Electric Board and Lane Electric Cooperative rebuild critical infrastructure and I will continue to fight for resources that boost our wildfire recovery efforts in every corner of the state.”

“The one-two punch of wildfire and high winds that socked Lane County last year inflicted major damage to infrastructure, leaving a swath of needed repairs throughout the region,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified these federal resources are headed to Lane Electric Cooperative as well as Eugene Water and Electric Board to help those utilities cover those repair costs for their customers, and continue to recover from the 2020 damages.”

Powerful straight-line winds and wind-driven fires caused substantial damage to power lines and other electrical systems in rural areas of Lane County during the 2020 wildfires. FEMA will be sending grants totaling $4 million to two local entities that will lead the recovery efforts: $3 million to Eugene Water and Electric Board and $1 million to Lane Electric Cooperative.