Massachusetts

Gov. Baker Announces Federal Disaster Assistance for January Blizzard

The decision makes federal assistance available to municipalities, state agencies, and certain nonprofits to help cover storm-related response and repair costs

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Gov. Charlie Baker announced Wednesday that cities and towns in impacted Massachusetts counties will be eligible for federal disaster assistance for the blizzard that hit the state in late January.

The decision makes federal assistance available to municipalities, state agencies, and certain nonprofits to help cover storm-related response and repair costs as a result of the severe winter storm.

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Total reimbursable costs for the storm are expected to exceed $13 million, the Baker administration said.

The storm dumped snow from Virginia to Maine, but Massachusetts bore the brunt of its fury, with some areas seeing more than 30 inches of snow.

Boston received 23.5 inches of snow as a result of the January 29 storm, the second largest January storm ever recorded in the city and the seventh biggest snowstorm in the history of the city.

From Boston's snow emergency, to no visibility in Revere, Mass., over to flooding concerns in Marshfield, here's our team coverage from Saturday's blizzard.

“The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and FEMA worked closely with impacted cities and towns, and with state agencies and non-profits to document and assess storm costs and pursue this federal disaster declaration,” Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Acting Director Dawn Brantley said in a statement. “Now that this Major Disaster Declaration has been issued, we will work diligently to ensure these federal resources is delivered as quickly as possible.”

President Joe Biden's Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance, including Snow Assistance, supports Bristol, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk counties and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Each county’s eligible storm costs exceeded federal financial thresholds under the Public Assistance Program.

Affected local governments, state agencies and some private nonprofit organizations in those jurisdictions will be reimbursed for 75% of their costs associated with response and emergency protective measures, including storm-related overtime for first responders, clearing debris from public roads and public property, snow removal costs, and repairing, replacing, restoring or reconstructing damaged public facilities and infrastructure.

Snow removal costs are reimbursable only when a county receives a record snowfall, or comes within 90% of the record snowfall.

Federal disaster funds will also be available for projects that will mitigate the costs and impacts of future disasters.

MEMA said it will be announcing a series of information sessions in the impacted counties in the near future to explain the process for applying for federal disaster assistance to municipal and state officials and eligible nonprofits.

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