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March 8, 2014

Baldwin receiving federal funds for ice storm damage

MILLEDGEVILLE — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Thursday that federal disaster aid is available to the State of Georgia to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the area affected Feb. 10-14 by the severe winter storm.

President Barack Obama’s “disaster” declaration makes federal funding available on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Winter Storm Pax. Hazard mitigation measures are included in the federal funding also.

Baldwin and nearby Hancock, Jones and Washington counties join 35 others on Georgia’s FEMA relief list.

W. Michael Moore has been named as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.  

Moore said additional designations might be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

During Winter Storm Pax, thousands lost power in Baldwin and nearby communities.

Milledgeville-Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency director Troy Reynolds said City of Milledgeville and county debris removal and disposal, structure damage, preparation time and overtime are allowable costs for reimbursement.

“This is good news for us,” he said. “Now, it’s just getting all the records of expenses that we had together.”

FEMA officials said several federal disaster aid programs can now be made available “as needed and warranted” under the President’s declaration.

These include payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health, repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities and costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  

Application procedures for state, tribal and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials, according to FEMA. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

Reynolds has a meeting with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) area coordinator next week.

“Then I’ll call a meeting here where we can start the process,” Reynolds said.

Disaster relief reimbursement should come to Baldwin County parties affected within six months.

 

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