COLUMBIA, S.C. -- While the most immediate concern of federal and state assistance officials is the well-being of individuals affected by disasters, a key part of the recovery process is helping communities repair and restore their damaged public facilities.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has received 159 "requests for public assistance" (RPAs) from eligible South Carolina counties that sustained damages from Hurricane Floyd and its subsequent flooding. These projects can include reasonable costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, restoration and replacement of damaged public facilities, such as roads and bridges and public buildings. Funding for these civic restoration projects is shared jointly: 75 percent federal and 25 percent state and local sources. The costs associated with these civic recovery requests are still being determined.
Under the FEMA public assistance program, eligible applicants include: state government agencies and departments, local governments - county, city, town, and districts, and certain private nonprofit organizations, such as educational, utility, emergency, medical, custodial care and other essential governmental service facilities.
Currently, the declared counties are receiving the following federal and state assistance:
- The 17 counties that are receiving public assistance only in the form of storm-related debris removal and emergency protective services are: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Hampton, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, and Sumter.
- The ten counties that are entitled to public assistance that includes repairs to road and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and public utilities, as well as storm-related debris removal and emergency protective services are: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dillon, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper, Marion, and Williamsburg.
- In addition to public assistance funding, eleven counties are eligible for individual assistance: Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Orangeburg and Williamsburg. Individual assistance includes temporary housing and emergency home repairs; U.S. Small Business (SBA) low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, landlords and non-farm businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations; and grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
- All 46 counties in the state of South Carolina are eligible for "hazard mitigation" services to minimize the effect of future disasters. Hazard mitigation includes technical advice about disaster prevention measures, and programs to help pay for long-term, cost-effective projects aimed at reducing or preventing future damage.