COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Erie, Morrow and Wyandot Counties have been added to the list of 23 counties now eligible for disaster funds for public assistance, according to the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“The emergency declaration made on January 11 has been amended to include additional counties after further review of damages by disaster recovery officials,” said Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer for the disaster.
The declaration covers jurisdictions with record and near-record snowfall from the storm that occurred over the period of December 22-24, 2004. Seventeen counties were originally made eligible and, on January 25, six others designated to receive federal funding to cover part of the cost for emergency protective measures undertaken as a result of the snowstorm. These include state and local government operations necessary to protect public health and safety and prevent damage to public or private property.
The following counties are now eligible for disaster public assistance: Butler, Champaign, Clark, Crawford, Drake, Delaware, Erie, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Huron, Logan, Madison, Marion, Miami, Montgomery, Morrow, Preble, Richland, Sandusky, Senece, Shelby, Union, Warren and Wyandot.
Under the emergency declaration, FEMA will provide reimbursement to state and local government agencies for 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 protective measures such as sanding and salting will also be eligible for reimbursement.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.