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State receives public FEMA assistance

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Bob Riley on Thursday received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster aid for Alabama counties affected by severe storms and flooding Dec. 12-18.

Counties included in this declaration are Barbour, Butler, Clarke, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Escambia, Geneva Henry and Pike.

Riley had requested the assistance on Dec. 23.

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by these storms.

“With this approval, Alabama communities that suffered damage will be able to recover more quickly,” Rileys said.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and tribes within the state.

“This is the fifth disaster declaration for Alabama in 2009,” said Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long. “We appreciate the prompt attention of our partners at FEMA as we work with local and county governments toward recovery.”

Application procedures for local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.