WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster funds have been made available for Maryland to help families and communities recover from the effects of Hurricane Floyd.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said President Clinton authorized the assistance under a major disaster declaration issued for the state this afternoon. The declaration covers hurricane damage to private and public property that occurred over the period of September 16-20.
Under the declaration, Witt said affected residents and business owners are eligible to apply for federal assistance in the counties of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, St.Mary's and Talbot.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, minor home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Additionally, Witt said federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the hurricane, and restoring damaged public facilities in the counties of Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Harford, Kent and Queen Anne's. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Witt, who designated the counties eligible for assistance following the declaration, indicated that other counties may be designated for aid later if requested and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Curtis D. Musgrave of FEMA was named by Witt to coordinate the federal relief effort. Musgrave said those in the counties designated for assistance affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process on Saturday, September 25, by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight seven days a week until further notice.