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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Executive Department

State House Boston, MA 02133

(617) 725-4000











March 11, 2003 CONTACT:

Shawn Feddeman

(617) 725-4025

Peter Judge (MEMA)

(508) 820-2002






Federal assistance available for all 14 counties


Governor Mitt Romney today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will make federal disaster aid available to the Massachusetts communities hardest hit by the February 17-18, 2003 snowstorm.


The assistance was authorized under an emergency declaration issued by President George W. Bush after a review of the agency's analysis of Romney's request last month for federal assistance. The declaration covers counties that received record or near record snowfall.


“Because of our budget crisis, this federal assistance could not have come at a better time for the Commonwealth and its cities and towns. The Bush Administration should be applauded for its prompt and favorable action on our request for emergency aid,” Romney said.


The 14 counties that are eligible for federal funding include Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket, Worcester, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Berkshire Counties.


Under the emergency declaration, FEMA will provide reimbursement to local government and state agencies for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, contracts and personnel overtime, related to emergency protective measures dealing with the snow for a continuous 48-hour period designated by each applicant. These are the crucial hours when work crews clear snow emergency routes and roads to critical facilities to permit passage of emergency vehicles. Related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting, search and rescue, shelter operations, and police and fire department response will also be eligible for reimbursement.


Romney has also requested assistance for an additional 24-hour period, bringing the total to 72 hours. FEMA has indicated they will make that decision shortly.


“The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency will continue to work with cities and towns to help them recoup all eligible expenditures attributed to this storm,” said MEMA Director Stephen J. McGrail. “Shortly, we will be announcing the locations of regional workshops for local officials throughout the Commonwealth to help walk them through this process.”


The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state and local resources to protect the public during disasters and emergencies. MEMA helps develop plans for effective response to all hazards, trains emergency personnel, provides information to families and communities, and assists in recovery from disaster losses. More information is available about MEMA by visiting their homepage at www.mass.gov/mema.

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