Portsmouth, N.H. -- More than $5 million in federal disaster aid has been obligated to assist Maine communities following last December's historic ice storm that affected millions across the region. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) are coordinating local recovery efforts.
"This has been another costly winter for many Maine communities," said State Coordinating Officer Ginnie Ricker. "We continue working to ensure that the cities and towns affected by the ice storm get the assistance they need."
FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program provides funding to local communities for the repair, replacement, or restoration of public facilities, as well as costs incurred for disaster cleanup or emergency actions taken to protect lives or property.
"We have an efficient and effective relationship with the State of Maine and this represents real progress on the road to recovery," said Nick Russo, FEMA's federal coordinating officer. "We remain committed to seeing that all available assistance makes its way to local communities as quickly as possible."
The federal share of eligible recovery costs is at least 75 percent, while the remainder is split between the state and local government. The PA Program is only activated following a presidential disaster declaration and provides grant assistance to applicants including state agencies, local governments, and certain non-profit organizations.
FEMA's PA Program may only provide assistance for projects that are located in a disaster-declared area and are the legal responsibility of an eligible applicant. The program cannot provide assistance for projects that are under the jurisdiction of other federal agencies, such as roads and bridges that are a part of the federal highway system or facilities located on federal lands like wildlife refuges and national parks.
Maine was declared eligible for federal assistance on January 9, paving the way for financial aid to local governments and municipalities in seven counties.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.