For Immediate Release - May 16, 2007


Local Communities, State Agencies and Private Non-Profits to Receive Assistance

BOSTON - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced that President Bush has issued a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance (PA) for the eight (8) Massachusetts counties that were most severely impacted by the April Nor'easter. This Public Assistance program will provide aid for much of the storm-related damage of April 15 through April 19, 2007 in Essex, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Berkshire counties.

"Communities across the state were hurt by this storm and I appreciate the federal government's quick response to my request for a disaster declaration," Governor Patrick said. "This declaration will help our communities - whose budgets are already stretched thin - deal with the financial impact."

Preliminary damage estimates exceeded $10 million with the most severe damage to public roadways, bridges, seawalls and revetments.

Under the PA program, affected local governments, state agencies and many private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for Federal funds to be reimbursed for 75 percent of the approved cost of debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing, replacing or restoring damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities.

Procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings for local officials at locations to be announced shortly by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These briefings will explain the reimbursement process for receiving Federal funds for eligible expenses incurred by state and local governments, as well as eligible non-profit organizations for infrastructure damage and eligible overtime costs.

This Major Disaster Declaration is in addition to the previously announced Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Declaration that was requested and received by Governor Patrick. The SBA disaster loan program offers assistance in the form of long term, low interest loans to eligible homeowners, renters and businesses of Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk counties who suffered physical or economic damage from the storm.