RICHMOND, Va. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that $5.5 million in federal disaster aid has been approved to date for government entities to help with cleanup and repairs after Tropical Depression Gaston struck August 30.
“Gaston was a severe storm, but Virginians came together and weathered it,” said Marianne C. Jackson, federal coordinating officer for FEMA’s recovery effort. “But now the waters have receded, and these funds will help communities deal with the bills that remain.”
“This shows again how the state and federal governments can work together to ease a storm’s financial burden on government and taxpayers,” said Michael M. Cline, the state coordinating officer from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Current federal funding by eligible jurisdiction includes:
- $366,420 for Chesterfield County
- $223,497 for Hanover County
- $1,718,126 for Henrico County
- $92,002 for the city of Colonial Heights
- $1,886,860 for the city of Richmond
- $1,214,499 to Commonwealth of Virginia agencies
Officials said approval for additional disaster aid for localities is expected soon.
These grants are in addition to the $11.2 million in federal aid and loans that has been awarded to homeowners, renters and business owners for damages suffered during the storm.
President Bush signed a major disaster declaration on Sept. 3, triggering the approval of federal aid in the aftermath of Gaston. Assistance became available for individuals and businesses in the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, and the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent and Prince George. Assistance was also approved for government entities and certain nonprofit organizations in the cities of Colonial Heights and Richmond, and the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, King William and New Kent.
Under the President’s emergency declaration, issued at the request of Gov. Mark R. Warner, the federal government is reimbursing governments for 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Virginia reimburses localities for at least 10 percent of the total costs.
These funds go to pay for emergency work such as debris removal and response costs, and permanent work to repair damaged public facilities like roads and bridges.
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 a national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U. S. Fire Administration.