Springfield, MA - Following the designation of Rhode Island for emergency federal assistance for snow removal, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today a briefing schedule for applicants.
Meetings will be held Tues. in Warwick at the Radisson Airport hotel. The morning session at 10:00 is for the 26 affected communities in Providence and Washington counties. A second briefing for state agencies and certain private non-profit organizations will take place at 1:30 p.m.
President Bush's declaration of March 27 covers the storm which struck the Ocean State February 17-18, according to James N. Russo, Federal Coordinating Officer for the emergency.
State and federal officials will conduct the meetings to answer questions applicants may have about the assistance program. They will explain what community costs are eligible and discuss how those costs should be submitted for reimbursement.
Information will also be presented concerning reporting equipment, personnel data and payment procedures. April 26 is the deadline to submit applications.
According to FEMA the emergency declaration was issued after determining that Rhode Island experienced record and near record snowfall from the winter storm that occurred in mid-February. Counties in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut were designated for assistance in an earlier March 11 emergency declaration.
The emergency declaration makes federal funds available to reimburse state and local governments and certain non-profit agencies in the designated counties. The federal government will pay 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, contracts, and personnel overtime related to emergency services in dealing with the snow over a 48-hour period. These are the crucial hours when work crews clear snow from emergency routes and roads to critical facilities to permit the passage of emergency vehicles. Related emergency measures such as sanding and salting will also be eligible for reimbursement.