For Immediate Release - June 11, 2011

GOVERNOR PATRICK FILES REQUEST FOR MAJOR DISASTER DECLARATION

Declaration would provide federal assistance to those impacted by severe storms in Western and Central Massachusetts

BOSTON - Saturday, June 11, 2011 - Governor Deval Patrick today filed a request for President Obama to declare a major disaster for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a result of destructive thunderstorms and three tornadoes that passed through a significant portion of Western and Central Massachusetts on June 1, 2011. The Governor is seeking the designation of "major disaster" for Hampden and Worcester counties, as communities in those regions were impacted most severely by the storms.

If awarded, the major disaster declaration would provide Public Assistance (PA), aid in the form of reimbursement for much of the storm-related infrastructure damage, debris removal and emergency response costs incurred by local communities, eligible private non-profit organizations and state agencies; and Individual Assistance (IA), aid to individuals and business owners for re-build and recovery needs.

Based on Federal Emergency Management Agency assessments, Hampden County meets the federal threshold for a county-wide declaration; therefore, Governor Patrick has requested that the entire county be included in the declaration. Although Worcester County has not met the federal county threshold, the Governor has requested that the towns of Southbridge and Sturbridge also receive PA due to localized impacts of the tornadoes on those two towns. Additionally, because of widespread damage to homes in both counties, the Governor has requested that IA be awarded to eligible residents of the impacted towns who need federal assistance.

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