Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that he will ask President Obama to declare Rhode Island a disaster area. “The work performed by our local, state, and federal emergency management partners indicates that the amount of damage sustained due to Tropical Storm Irene is severe enough to qualify for federal relief,” Chafee said. “Aid from the federal government will lessen the financial burden our state has sustained in the wake of this event. I am hopeful that President Obama will grant this request.” The Joint Post Disaster Assessment Teams (PDA) quantified the financial impact of Irene response and recovery activities. Upon reviewing their figures, the Governor believes that the cost of the response effort, such as emergency personnel overtime and other emergency services, is beyond state and local recovery capabilities. If the President declares a major disaster and Public Assistance is approved, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will fund 75 percent of authorized costs. Eligible work might include debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repair or replacement of damaged public facilities such as roads, bridges, buildings, utilities, and recreation areas.