WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Clinton has approved the use of federal disaster funds to help local governments in Cumberland and York counties recover from the effects of storms and other extreme weather that struck the southern part of Maine late last year.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the President's major disaster declaration issued this afternoon authorizes the payment of 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services and restoring public facilities damaged as a result of severe storms, heavy rains, high winds and coastal flooding that occurred over the period of October 8-11, 1998.
Witt, who designated the two counties eligible for aid following the declaration, said federal funds also will be available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
The President's action, which grants the state's appeal of a previous request for disaster aid, followed a review of FEMA's analysis of additional damage data that revealed sufficient adverse local impacts to warrant supplemental federal assistance.
Kevin Merli, of FEMA's regional office in Boston, Mass., was named by Witt to coordinate federal relief operations. Merli said procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.