Washington, DC -- Federal disaster funds have been made available for Ohio to help communities in the counties of Brown, Butler, Clermont and Hamilton recover from the effects of recent severe storms that struck the southwestern part of the state, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush this afternoon following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal relief. The declaration covers damage to public property from the storms and flooding that occurred July 17-18.
Allbaugh, who designated the four counties eligible for the aid immediately after the declaration, 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 disaster, and restoring damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Allbaugh indicated that more counties may be designated for assistance later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named Robert Colangelo of FEMA to coordinate the federal relief effort.
Colangelo said procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.