FEMA Aid for Puerto Rico Infrastructure Available to 5 Added Municipalities

January 3, 2006

Federal disaster recovery officials reported that the municipalities of Adjuntas, Cayey, Guayanilla, Jayuya, and Orocovis in Puerto Rico have been added to the federal disaster declaration of Nov. 10, 2005. A total of 17 municipalities in Puerto Rico will now be included in the current Presidential disaster declaration.

The aid will be granted under the FEMA Public Assistance program to help municipal governments whose infrastructure suffered losses and damages by the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that occurred Oct. 9-15, 2005 in the island.

“The additional assistance was approved to those municipalities following a review of damage data gathered by federal and Commonwealth disaster recovery officials,” said Justo Hernández, Federal coordinating officer.

Under the presidential disaster declaration of Nov. 10, the municipalities of Aibonito, Juana Diaz, Lares, Maricao, Peñuelas, Ponce , Salinas , Santa Isabel , Utuado, Villalba, Yabucoa and Yauco were eligible for federal disaster funds.

Under the expanded declaration, the five affected municipal governments are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities. In addition, certain private non-profit organizations (PNPs) that provide essential governmental-type services to the general public may be eligible for these funds, as well.

The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the Commonwealth for approved mitigation projects that reduce future disaster risks.

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