For Immediate Release - December 24, 2008


Seeks Aid for Impacted Local Communities, State Agencies and Private Non-Profits

BOSTON- Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - Governor Deval Patrick has made a request to President Bush to declare a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance in order to expedite financial aid to the local cities and towns of Worcester, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire Counties impacted by the ice storm, beginning on December 11 th.

"This storm caused significant damage and hardship across the Commonwealth, with many families and businesses still displaced 10 days later and a big mess still to clean up," said Governor Patrick. "I have therefore asked President Bush to expedite federal aid to help us address these issues."

Following the storm, a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment has been conducted by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) teams to determine the extent of infrastructure damage and debris left behind by this storm. They have examined dams, bridges, public roadways, and public facilities.

If successful, the 'Public Assistance' Program would reimburse communities, state agencies and eligible private non-profit entities located within the five counties with a 75 percent federal share of the costs for the repair, restoration and/or reconstruction of public facilities and infrastructure, as well debris removal and storm-related overtime costs for first responders.