Clanton, AL -- Fayette County has been added to the list of Alabama counties eligible for federal disaster assistance following high winds and severe storms that raked the northern part of the state on February 16th, federal and state disaster recovery officials announced today. William Carwile, overseeing the federal/state recovery effort for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), made the designation for Public Assistance eligibility following a review of additional information regarding damages incurred because of the storms.
The Public Assistance designation means that the county may be reimbursed for storm-related infrastructure costs including: hazardous debris removal, emergency protective services such as barricading roads and overtime for police and fire personnel, and to repair or replace storm-damaged public facilities. The federal share of the assistance is 75%, with state and local governments paying 25% of the remainder. Federal funding will also be available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures.
Lee Helms, director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) explained that the ongoing cost of extensive debris removal has placed a significant burden on the counties affected by the severe mid-February storms. "We work closely with local governments throughout the recovery process and we're always willing to listen to their needs," Helms said.
The addition of Covington County brings to six the number of Alabama counties eligible for federal and state disaster recovery programs authorized as a result of a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on March 5th following a request by Gov. Bill Sielegman. Other counties eligible for public property assistance under the presidential disaster declaration are Blount, Jefferson, Lamar, Tuscaloosa and Walker.