PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- More than $4.5 million has been obligated for reimbursement of snow removal costs incurred as a result of the record December snowfall in Massachusetts, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials said today.
Under President Bush's January emergency declaration for the December 6-7 storm, communities in 12 of the Commonwealth's counties became eligible to apply for 75 percent funding of eligible emergency snow removal costs during a specified 48-hour period.
"To date, we have completed and approved more than 208 project worksheets, covering snow removal costs from nearly 704 applicants in the declared counties," said James N. Russo, Federal Coordinating Officer for the disaster.
The counties are Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester.
Officials from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and FEMA provided public assistance briefings to prospective applicants explaining reimbursable expenses eligible under the declaration 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.