Ohio Counties to Get Disaster Assistance

October 5, 2004

The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that disaster assistance has been made available for 16 Ohio counties to help local governments rebuild public property damaged by severe storms and flooding that occurred between Aug. 27 and Sept. 27.

Michael Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the counties were added to the September 19 presidential declaration based on a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials.

“Ensuring that vital community services are restored as quickly as possible is part of our continuing commitment to help Ohio achieve a full and lasting recovery,” said FEMA’s Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer.

The designated counties for Public Assistance are Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Tuscarawas and Washington.

Dale Shipley, executive director of Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) and state coordinating officer, explained “Under the expanded assistance, affected local governments in the designated counties are eligible to apply for funds to pay approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the flooding and severe storms, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings, and utilities.”

The federal cost share of 75 percent along with the state cost share, which has usually been 12.5 percent, would reimburse state and local governments and certain private non-profit organizations for eligible costs. Procedures for requesting the assistance are explained at a series of applicant briefings for local officials.

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