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Obama declares Kenai winter storm as federal disaster

KENAI PENINSULA -- President Obama on Thursday declared the winter storm that socked the Kenai Peninsula in November a federal disaster, opening up aid money and Federal Emergency Management Agency support for the borough, according to a release.

Federal disaster funds can be used by local governments and non-profits for emergency work, repairs and the replacement of facilities damaged in the storms.

Alaska's congressional delegation had earlier sent a letter to Obama supporting Gov. Sean Parnell's request that a federal disaster be declared.

The November storms caused widespread power outages and property damage on the peninsula.

FEMA named Willie G. Dunn the federal coordinating officer for recovery operations.

Anchorage Daily News /