PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- More than $1.7 million has been obligated for reimbursement of snow removal costs incurred as a result of the record December snowfalls in Maine, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials said today.
Under President Bush's January emergency declaration for the December storm, 11 Maine counties became eligible to apply for 75 percent funding of eligible emergency snow removal costs during a specified 48-hour period from December 6-7. Those counties are Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, and Washington.
A second emergency declaration for the December 14-15 storm included seven Maine counties: Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, and Washington.
"To date we have completed and approved more than 239 project worksheets, covering snow removal costs from nearly 340 applicants in the declared counties for both declarations," said James N. Russo, Federal Coordinating Officer for the disaster.
Maine emergency management officials and FEMA provided public assistance briefings to prospective applicants explaining reimbursable expenses eligible under the declarations and how these expenses could be collected and reported to expedite payment. Eligible applicants can be reimbursed for the costs of operating snow clearance equipment, contractors' costs, and personnel overtime.
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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.