Washington, DC -- Federal disaster funds have been made available for Michigan to help communities in the counties of Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Marquette and Ontonagan recover from the effects of recent floods that struck the western part of the state's Upper Peninsula, 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 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 floods that began April 15.
Under the declaration, Allbaugh said federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments in the five counties to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the floods, and the restoration of 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, who designated the counties eligible for the aid after the declaration, indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named James Roche of FEMA to coordinate the federal relief effort.
Roche said procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.