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State of Rhode Island Awarded Federal Disaster Declaration

State of Rhode Island Awarded Federal Disaster Declaration Stemming From January Blizzard

Contact: Armand Randolph (401) 462-7183 External Affairs

Cranston, RI – President Barack Obama today approved Rhode Island's request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Rhode Island stemming from the historic blizzard that took place on January 26, 2015. The Declaration makes federal funding available in the form of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Program to all five Rhode Island counties that incurred preparedness and recovery costs associated with the blizzard.

"The state's Emergency Management Agency and local leaders worked hard to complete their storm assessments and quickly submit our request for federal assistance to FEMA," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "I am thankful to the White House for processing our request, and I am incredibly grateful for the hard work and the leadership of the Congressional Delegation to make this critical support possible. I again want to thank all of the dedicated public safety officials and employees who helped keep our state safe during this challenging winter."

The Declaration enables eligible municipalities, state agencies, tribal communities and certain private non-profit organizations of all five counties to apply for reimbursements for costs incurred prior to, during, and following the storm. Such costs include, but are not limited to, storm preparedness, snow removal efforts, personnel overtime costs due to work associated with the storm, repair to storm-damaged buildings and infrastructure, and for projects to mitigate effects for future damage from similar storms.

On March 25, 2015, Governor Gina Raimondo submitted Rhode Island's request to the White House for a Major Disaster Declaration for all five counties of the State. The request was based on the joint FEMA and State preliminary damage assessment cost estimates of $4.7 million that were associated with the storm.

"During the blizzard, the State incurred damages due to record snow accumulations, drifting snow, and strong winds," said RIEMA Director Peter Gaynor. "The blizzard conditions posed an imminent threat to public safety, as well as to public and private property, resulting in the need for emergency protective measures statewide. These hazards resulted in high costs to our state and our cities and towns. We are thankful and fortunate that we were able to receive federal assistance."

Federal assistance from FEMA for reimbursement is requested by a municipality, state agency, or private non-profit organization. Applicants must prepare and submit an official request for determination of eligibility from FEMA.

To view a Request for Public Assistance form, visit


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