INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Ten additional counties have been added to the disaster declaration for public assistance to include aid for local governments affected by the severe winter storms and flooding that began in January 1 in Indiana, federal officials announced today.
The disaster-designated counties are: Bartholomew, Knox, Owen, Perry, Putnam, Sullivan, Union, Vermillion, Vigo and Wells.
Ron Sherman, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) federal coordinating officer for the disaster, said the additional assistance was approved following a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials.
Under the original declaration issued by President Bush on January 21, nine of the ten counties were previously designated for assistance for individuals, families and business owners. Perry County is designated for public assistance only.
"Our continuing commitment is not only to help meet the recovery needs of devastated families and businesses," Sherman said, " but to ensure that the vital community services they depend on are restored as quickly and efficiently as possible."
Under the expanded assistance affected local governments in the ten counties are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities.
Procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings for local officials at locations to be announced shortly by state and federal disaster officials
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and effectively manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.