FEMA: President declares disaster for Massachusetts

Federal funding available to eligible local governments in Barnstable County, other entities
Cable Road in North Eastham during the Blizzard of 2015. Photo by Denise Kopasz.

Some called the big end of January storm the Blizzard of 2015, some called it Juno. The government will here on out refer to it as DR-2414. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Monday that the President declared a disaster for Massachusetts. Of the fourteen counties in the commonwealth, ten counties and the eligble towns therein, may be eligible for federal disaster aid. The state, tribal governments and some private nonprofits will also have access to funds.

The declaration was made due to the damage and flooding caused by the winter storm of January 26-28, 2015.

Federal funding will be made available on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and repair or replacement of facilities damaged during the storm in ten counties including Barnstable, Duke, Plymouth and Nantucket and to tribes and some nonprofits, according to FEMA.

Federal funding on a cost-sharing basis is available for snow assistance for a continuous 48-hour period during or proximate to the January snow storm in nine counties including Barnstable, Dukes and Plymouth.  Nantucket is not listed as eligible for snow assistance funding.  All counties in the commonwealth will have access to cost-sharing funding for hazard mitigation measures, FEMA said.

Assistance to individual residents and households is not being offered.

Mark H. Landry has been named the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations for Massachusetts. "Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the commonwealth and warranted by the results of further damage assessments," Landry said.

The January Blizzard brought the Cape to a standstill. All schools and municipal services and offices were shuttered, the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (BCREPC) activated the county's regional sheltering system and the governor put a travel ban in effect. At one point, more than 10,000 Cape Codders were without power including most of Provincetown (97% at one point, according to Nstar). The storm even caused an emergency unplanned shutdown at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth. Twelve to twenty inches buried the Cape and waves pounded the shore, causing extensive flooding. In some neighborhoods, it took days before a passable area was plowed. 

More information about the federal disaster assistance and DR-4214 are available on the FEMA website here. Requisite forms and other information will soon be made available.

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