Big Thicket Messenger - Local News
Stories Added - July 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Funds exceed $8 billion
Big Thicket Messenger - July 2008

Communities in four states devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are rebuilding with more than $8 billion in Public Assistance grants provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
State and local governments in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are using the $8.04 billion for a variety of projects ranging from repair and reconstruction of hurricane-damaged schools, roads, utilities and other public infrastructure for removal of storm debris.
“FEMA and our state and local partners have been aggressive in our commitment to rebuild what Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have destroyed,” said Gil Jamieson, FEMA’s Associate Deputy Administrator for Gulf Coast Recovery.
“The $8 billion is a significant accomplishment for FEMA and our partners. It is more than what FEMA provided for Public Assistance after Hurricanes Hugo, Andrew, George, Ivan and the Northridge Eqrthquake combined. It also demonstrates FEMA’s continued commitment to the citizens of the Gulf Coast,” Jamieson said.
Funds provided by FEMA are obligated for projects and placed in the respective state’s designated account.
The state administers the FEMA grants and disburses the funding to the grant applicants. FEMA is providing 100% of the eligible costs of the projects.
Jamieson notes that FEMA has documented damages and funded over 58,000 projects in the four states.
“While this is a significant accomplishment, FEMA will continue to work with applicants to identify and fund all eligible damages related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We’ll not leave or close up shop along the Gulf Coast until the job is complete.”
Through the Public Assistance Grant Program, FEMA reimburses state and local governments and certain eligible private non-profit organizations for the actual costs for work required because of the disaster.
Eligible projects include damaged roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and their contents, publicly owned utilities and parks and recreation areas.
The Public Assistance Program also includes funds for emergency services and eligible debris-removal costs related to the disaster.
Public Assistance funds have been paid to Texas in excess of $962 million.
The Gulf Coast Recovery Office coordinates FEMA’s recovery and mitigation programs in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, as they recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.





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