Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are asking the federal government to begin the process to bring relief money to farmers and businesses in Malheur County who have lost income and property due to extremely heavy snow in the past few weeks.
The letter released Thursday asks the U.S. Department of Agriculture to formally declare a disaster in Malheur and surrounding counties so farmers and businesses can apply for federal loans and insurance relief.
The senators say the region received 16 inches of snow overnight on Jan. 18 on top of about two feet of existing snow.
The accumulation caused numerous roofs to collapse and roads were impassable for days.
Large sections of Interstate 84 were closed as well.
Residents in some communities continue to dig out.