PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- As Massachusetts's spring flood recovery passed the three-month mark, newly released official totals give a much clearer picture of the widespread damage and loss caused by record rainfall that swamped large areas of Eastern and Central Massachusetts during the latter half of March and most of April.
The current total of 37,025 applicants and more than $90.9 million in approved assistance is on track to nearly double the Bay State's 2006 Mother's Day event where total disaster aid exceeded $55 million.
More than 78 percent of those registering, or 27,224 applicants have received Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual and Household Program (IHP) assistance grants totaling more than $56.6 million.
In addition, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans have provided $34.3 million to help 1,681 approved residents and business owners requiring financial help with repair and rebuilding costs for uncompensated disaster related losses.
Another important form of assistance funding is just beginning to reach local governments, state agencies and certain non-profits.? Initial notification is underway of more than $1 million in obligated FEMA Public Assistance (PA) reimbursement funding for approved debris removal and emergency protective measure outlays related to the spring flooding. The PA cost-share infrastructure program (75 percent FEMA, 25 percent Commonwealth) helps eligible public sector applicants with supplemental costs related to debris removal, emergency protective measures and repair, reconstruction or replacement of public facilities not met by insurance.
The following is a snapshot of total Commonwealth-FEMA disaster recovery activities to date (compiled by close of business July 6, 2010):
- $54.7 million in approved Housing Assistance grants to help with recovery housing expenses, home repair costs and assistance toward repairing storm-damaged homes;
- $1.9 million ?in Other Needs Assistance to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical expenses and lost personal possessions;
- $34.3 million in SBA approved low-interest loans to eligible homeowners, renters or business owners;
- $35,000 in Disaster Unemployment Assistance for individuals suffering job loss in the designated counties due to the flooding;
- 35,397? homes had FEMA contacted inspectors view damages (more than 99 percent completed) with ten inspectors currently handling new requests;
- 82,500 individuals have talked with Hazard Mitigation Community Outreach specialists at various area home improvement centers to inquire about affordable and useful risk-reduction measures to lessen vulnerability to future all-weather hazards; and
- Currently the obligated federal 75 percent Public Assistance (PA) cost share to reimburse eligible public sector entities for debris removal and emergency protective measures totals $1,051,415. To date, 1,497 Project Worksheets have been submitted by cities, townships and private nonprofits in disaster designated counties for FEMA review.
Additionally, FEMA continues to work with volunteer agencies on the development of long-term recovery groups comprised of volunteer organizations to assist disaster survivors with unmet needs in hard-hit disaster communities.
Recovery officials pointed out that the registration window remains open for individuals, households and businesses in the seven designated disaster counties with uninsured losses through close-of business, 10 p.m., July 12. The initial registration period has bee...