The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday that more than $39.4 million in support from four federal disaster relief programs is helping Rhode Island recover from Superstorm Sandy’s effects.FEMA said the majority of the support is from the National Flood Insurance Program which has so far paid more than $31.1 million for more than 1,000 claims in the Ocean State.
In addition to NFIP claims payments, federal aid includes:
• Public Assistance: more than $5.3 million in grants for state and local agencies and some private nonprofits
• Individual Assistance: more than $423,000 in grants paid directly to eligible individuals and families to meet basic needs for housing and cover other essential disaster-related expenses
• U.S. Small Business Administration: more than $2.6 million in low-interest disaster recovery loans to Rhode Island homeowners, renters and business owners of all sizes
“Federal assistance has reduced Sandy’s financial impact on public facilities and affected individuals,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer James Russo. “FEMA continues working to assure that all receive the maximum disaster aid we can provide.”
Federal assistance for Sandy was authorized Nov. 3, 2012, by a major disaster declaration for Bristol, Kent, Newport, and Washington counties for FEMA’s public assistance program. Additionally, FEMA’s individual assistance program was authorized for Newport and Washington counties.
“Rhode Island is grateful for all of the federal support we have received,” said Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. “We hope that this funding will help the state to repair damages and be more resilient as we start hurricane season.”
FEMA’s public assistance program has approved more than 260 projects to reimburse local and state agencies for 75 percent of eligible Sandy-related costs. These include emergency response, debris removal, and repair or replacement of facilities or infrastructure.
“As we continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy damage and face the beginning of another hurricane season, it is a reminder that the best way to assure you can rebuild if your home or business is damaged or destroyed by flooding is to buy flood insurance,” Russo said. “Flooding is one of the biggest concerns during a hurricane. Anyone who does not already have flood insurance should consider buying it now.”
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