BOSTON, Mass. -- Five months after December's ice storm pummeled the region, nearly $10 million in federal disaster assistance has been obligated to help Maine recover from the devastating winter storm.
"This was the worst winter storm we've had in more than ten years," said State Coordinating Officer Ginnie Ricker. "This assistance has really helped to lift the financial burden on our cities and towns for completing the cleanup work."
December's historic ice storm affected millions across the region and Maine was declared eligible for federal assistance on January 9, paving the way for financial aid to local governments and municipalities in seven counties.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) have been coordinating local recovery efforts in communities across the state.
"We have a strong partnership with the State of Maine," said Nick Russo, FEMA's federal coordinating officer. "This has been a joint effort over the last four months to deliver all available assistance to local communities as efficiently as possible."
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.
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.
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.