Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown joined Congressmen Edward Markey, William Keating, Jim McGovern, and John Tierney in welcoming news that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued a major disaster declaration for Massachusetts resulting from the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy which left 385,000 without power across the state. The declaration, requested by Governor Deval Patrick, makes available federal funds to assist in recovering from $22.2 million in damage from the October "superstorm."
"Sandy's torrent of flooding and wind damage across the Northeast didn't entirely spare Massachusetts. Governor Patrick rightly declared a statewide emergency, but that doesn't come without a cost. First responders and the National Guard went on alert and were working around the clock across the state," said Senator Kerry. "After the storm, I drove through some of the harder hit parts of our state. I saw downed trees and power lines, dunes completely swept out to sea and, in some spots, we had roads washed away entirely."
"It's critical that the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy receive the much needed money to help them through these difficult times. I thank the President for the quick response to this disaster," said Senator Brown.
"I thank President Obama for this major disaster declaration for Massachusetts, which will help assist the State recover from this devastating superstorm and commend Governor Patrick for his leadership," said Rep. Markey. "Because of this assistance, we will be able to continue to help the communities throughout the Commonwealth hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy."
"Today's announcement by FEMA has opened the door for the Commonwealth to receive a piece of the federal assistance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy," said Rep. Keating. "The towns of my Southeastern Massachusetts district, which would benefit from this funding, are uniquely linked to the ocean -- from our historic fishing industry to the working waterfronts of our ports. I will continue the fight to provide federal funding to these communities so we can work to restore and protect our pristine coastlines and better prepare ourselves for future storms."
"Sandy was an incredibly devastating storm," Rep. McGovern said. "I'm pleased that the President has issued this declaration so that much-needed federal resources can be made available."
"I am pleased to learn that counties across the Commonwealth will now have access to a federal grants program that may be able to help them protect their families and homes from future natural disasters," said Rep. Tierney. "In the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy I spoke with families throughout our area who had serious concerns about their property, schools, and businesses, and I hope this funding will provide a real opportunity for them to address these issues head on."
Federal assistance will be available for emergency work and repair of damaged facilities in Barstable, Bristol, Duke, Nantucket, Plymouth and Suffolk counties. In addition, all counties in Massachusetts will be eligible to apply for aid from the Hazard Mitigation Program to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property.