For Immediate Release - April 10, 2013

PATRICK ADMINISTRATION REQUESTS FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES, STATE AGENCIES & PRIVATE NON-PROFITS IMPACTED BY FEBRUARY 8-9 BLIZZARD

FRAMINGHAM, MA – The Patrick-Murray Administration has made a request to President Obama to declare a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance in order to expedite financial aid to the local cities and towns impacted by the snowstorm and accompanying coastal flooding that impacted the state February 8-9, 2013. Public Assistance (PA) is being requested for all fourteen (14) Massachusetts counties: Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester Counties.  In addition, Snow Assistance is being requested for eleven (11) counties: Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester Counties.  With the exception of Plymouth County, these ten (10) counties are eligible for Snow Assistance under FEMA guidelines because they received a record or near record (within 10% of the record) snowfall. Although Plymouth County fell short of a near record snowfall by only ½”, the Governor is asking the President to provide Snow Assistance to the county because it came so close to qualifying and snow removal costs within the county were comparable to costs in other counties that have qualified for Snow Assistance.

Following the February Blizzard, a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment was conducted by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) teams to determine the extent of infrastructure damage and amount of debris produced by this storm. The preliminary damage assessment revealed that state and local damages in the fourteen (14) counties far exceed FEMA’s statewide threshold of $8.9 million.

If the President issues a Major Disaster Declaration, the Public Assistance (PA) Program will reimburse communities, state agencies and eligible private non-profit organizations located within the all fourteen (14) counties for 75% of their eligible costs of repairing, restoring and/or reconstructing public facilities and infrastructure damaged or destroyed by the storm, as well as the costs of removing storm debris and storm-related,  non-snow removal, overtime costs for first responders.

Counties which become eligible for Snow Assistance will be reimbursed for 75% of their eligible costs for 48 hours of snow plowing, snow removal and road surface treatment associated with the blizzard.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made. For additional information about MEMA and Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Also, continue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA; Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA. Download the free ping4alert! app to your Smartphone to receive important weather alerts and emergency messages from MEMA.  Easy instructions are available at www.mass.gov/mema/mobileappp.