PORTLAND, Maine -- Aroostook County has been added to the list of Maine counties eligible for federal and state disaster aid for damage sustained in the severe storms, flooding, snow melt and ice jams between March 29 and May 3, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA director and Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Department of Homeland Security, said the assistance was approved following a review of data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials.
"Ensuring that vital community services are restored as quickly as possible is part of our continuing commitment to help Maine achieve a full and lasting recovery," Brown said.
Affected local governments in Aroostook and 11 other 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. Androscoggin, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo and Washington counties were already approved for disaster aid.
The funds were authorized under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on June 29 and made available through FEMA's public assistance program for state and local governments.
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.