MERRIMACK , N.H. -- Disaster assistance has been designated for Worcester County to help local governments rebuild public property damaged by the recent severe storms and flooding in Massachusetts , the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Peter Martinasco said the assistance was approved following a review of damage 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 Massachusetts achieve a full and lasting recovery," Martinasco said.
Residents and business owners in Worcester County had previously been eligible for aid through FEMA's individual assistance programs as a result of the major disaster declaration issued by President George W. Bush November 10. Now local governments in the county are eligible for assistance through FEMA's public assistance program for state and local governments.
Under the expanded assistance, Martinasco said affected local governments in Worcester County are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved eligible costs 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 a location to be announced shortly by state and federal disaster officials," said State Coordinating Officer Christine McCombs, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
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. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.