Md. to apply for FEMA aid after historic storm

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 18:50:11-05
Maryland will seek federal disaster aid to help pay for the response and aftermath of this weekend's record-breaking blizzard. 
"The bottom line is from a snowfall perspective, we're breaking the records in the majority of the counties, as well as the statewide basis," said Russell Strickland, executive director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
A record-setting snowfall could also have a record-setting price tag. It's why Maryland is applying for disaster aid from the federal government. Strickland said in the coming weeks, teams of federal and local officials will be out doing damage assessments across the state.
"They'll be looking at snowfall amounts," he said. "They'll be looking at the total amount that was spent on the actions during the response and during the pre-response area."
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) aid was for a 2014 snowstorm just before Valentines Day. The estimated public cost to respond to that storm was $9.2 million. The federal government reimburses 75 percent of that cost, while local governments have to cover the rest.
This time around, Strickland said the clean-up process has gone faster than expected due to the public's help.
"The public was extremely, extremely cooperative," he said. "The governor put the message out, the local jurisdictions put the message out to please stay off the roads and they did and that was really part of the success."
The state has a 30-day window to complete its formal disaster aid application, but Strickland said he hopes to have it done in a couple of weeks.

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