Washington, D. C. -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today designated six South Carolina counties eligible for federal disaster aid to help local governments recover from last month's ice storm that struck the northwestern part of the state.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush today following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal aid. The declaration covers damage to public property from the storm that occurred over the period of December 4-6.
Under the declaration, Allbaugh said the state and affected local governments are eligible to apply for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the storm, and the repair or replacement of damaged public utilities.
The six counties designated by Allbaugh for the assistance following the declaration include Cherokee, Greenville, Laurens, Spartanburg, Union and York.
Allbaugh said the declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that more counties and additional forms of federal assistance may be designated later if requested and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Charles M. Butler of FEMA was named by Allbaugh to coordinate federal relief operations. Butler said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.