Washington, D.C. - Federal disaster funds have been made available for New Hampshire to help communities in the counties of Cheshire and Sullivan recover from the effects of recent floods stemming from persistent rainfall that began in late July, the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA Director and Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at Homeland Security, said the aid was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush following a review of FEMA's analysis of the state's request for federal relief. The declaration covers damage to public property from severe storms and flooding that occurred over the period of July 21 through August 18.
Immediately after the President's action, Brown designated Cheshire and Sullivan counties eligible for federal funding to pay affected local governments 75 percent of the approved costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges and utilities. The declaration also makes funding available to the two counties on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Brown 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 N. Russo of FEMA to coordinate federal recovery operations.
Russo said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected area.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.