BOURNE, MA – State and federal officials announce the first $1 million in federal assistance has been delivered to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help cover the costs of the severe winter storm, snowstorm and flooding on January 26-28, 2015.
The major disaster declaration issued by the President for this severe winter storm provides federal disaster funding for certain costs associated with emergency services provided during the storm and repairing damage to buildings and other public infrastructure in Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester Counties. Additionally, federal disaster funds are being made available in the same counties (with the exception of Nantucket County) to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible costs of plowing and clearing snow for a 48 hour period.
“With winter just around the corner, the delivery of federal aid for last season’s historic snowfall and freezing temperatures, will provide critical assistance for state agencies, public transit, non-profits and our cities and town,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The diligent work of our emergency management officials in partnership with those impacted by this severe winter, will ensure relief as recovery, repair and future resiliency efforts continue.”
Under this disaster declaration, Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) public assistance programs will reimburse state and local governments, tribal, and eligible private non-profit organizations, in the designated counties, certain costs associated with emergency response, damage to buildings and infrastructure, and plowing and clearing of snow for a 48 hour period. Projections indicate eligible costs may exceed $150 million, of which FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of the approved cost.
“Due to the extraordinary nature of the winter storm and its costs, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) along with the FEMA are working tirelessly to maximize federal disaster assistance to eligible applicants,” said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz.
“FEMA continues to support the Commonwealth to ensure that applicants receive all of the assistance for which they are eligible,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mark Landry. “Funding for hazard mitigation efforts, statewide, is also available.” Hazard mitigation funding is for cost-effective measures that would prevent or reduce the threat of future damages.
The Commonwealth, which distributes the FEMA funds to local governments and qualified non-profits, must review public assistance projects, along with FEMA, to ensure compliance with regulations.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.