Quincy, MA -- Four more Massachusetts counties are now eligible for federal disaster assistance in the wake of storms and flooding from March 5 through April 16.
This addition of Bristol, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester counties on Thursday brings the number of Massachusetts counties eligible for federal aid to seven. President Bush declared Essex, Middlesex, and Norfolk counties a disaster area on April 10.
Louis H. Botta, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said this amendment to President Bush's disaster declaration means individuals and businesses in these counties may now apply for a variety of programs. The assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, minor home repairs, and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest, long-term loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will also be available to homeowners, renters, and businesses with losses not fully compensated by insurance.
"We have been monitoring applications from areas outside the original three counties and realize that there are pockets of damage in these additional counties. We are concerned that individuals in those areas receive the help for which they are now eligible," said State Coordinating Officer Stephen J. McGrail.
Massachusetts residents who sustained damage from the March storms should register for assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free number 1-800-462-9029. TTY service is available at 1-800-462-7585 for anyone who is hearing- or speech-impaired. The registration numbers are available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.