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Federal “Major Disaster Declaration” Amended to Include “Public Assistance”

State and local governments now eligible to receive federal assistance for cost of damage, clean up and recovery

Governor Donald L. Carcieri and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) were informed today that President Obama has approved the request to amend the "major disaster declaration" to include “Public Assistance” for all of Rhode Island.

The objective of the (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program is to provide assistance to State, Tribal and local governments, and certain types of Private Nonprofit organizations so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the President.

“This declaration and support from the federal government will allow the state and our cities and towns to begin the long road to recovery and rebuild Rhode Island,” said Governor Carcieri. “As we continue to assess the damage to our infrastructure, our state and local facilities, and our environment, we expect the cost to exceed $100 million and perhaps as high as more than $200 million. Federal assistance is critical to our recovery and to help militate against future severe storms and flooding. State and local teams, in cooperation with the federal partners, are working to bring our state back from the devastation caused by this disaster.”

Through the PA Program, FEMA provides supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain Private Non-Profit (PNP) organizations. The PA Program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process.

The Federal share of assistance is not less than 75% of the eligible cost for emergency measures and permanent restoration. The grantee (usually the State) determines how the non-Federal share (up to 25%) is split with the subgrantees (eligible applicants). Rhode Island is seeking a waiver of the federal/state match.

Any individual or business affected by recent severe storms and flooding should register with FEMA at, or call 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).

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