Obama declares disaster for DC after earthquake

AP News
Posted: Nov 08, 2011 7:38 PM
Obama declares disaster for DC after earthquake

President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration for the District of Columbia from this summer's earthquake. The damaged Washington National Cathedral could be eligible.

Tuesday's declaration makes federal funding available to repair buildings damaged by the 5.8-magnitude quake on Aug. 23. Mayor Vincent Gray's administration says damages to government facilities total $6.8 million.

Gray says money is needed to repair schools and other government buildings as well as the cathedral, which was heavily damaged. Initial repairs are expected to cost $15 million.

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Rachel Racusen says Gray could seek funds for cathedral areas not used for religious purposes. The funds can also go toward preparing for future emergencies.