ANDOVER, Mass. -- Four months removed from the Mother's Day flooding, Massachusetts continues to move along on the road to recovery. State and federal assistance to Massachusetts residents and communities has surpassed $70.4 million in response to the mid-May floods. Nearly 11,000 households applied for assistance after President Bush approved a federal disaster declaration on May 25, 2006.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved nearly $16.5 million to cover rental assistance, temporary lodging and grants for home repairs not covered by insurance (Essex - $10.6 million; Middlesex - $4.89 million; and Suffolk - $942,000). In addition, $1.8 million was approved for personal property loss, medical or dental costs and other significant disaster-related expenses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved low-interest disaster loans totaling more than $39.6 million for homeowners, renters and business owners to repair their dwellings or businesses, replace damaged personal property and compensate for lost revenue.
FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program provides funding reimbursement for eligible costs incurred for emergency response or damage to public infrastructure. On June 9, President Bush approved PA funding for local governments, state agencies and certain private nonprofits performing government functions in Essex and Middlesex counties. To date, FEMA has obligated funding for 607 requests totaling more than $12.4 million .
Although the registration period has ended, individuals who have applied for assistance and have additional questions may visit www.fema.gov/assistance or call the toll-free FEMA Helpline 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the speech- or hearing-impaired.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.