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HomeNewsArchivesFEMA OKs $1 Million-Plus for Disaster Relief in Territory

FEMA OKs $1 Million-Plus for Disaster Relief in Territory

Dec. 1, 2008 — The Virgin Islands will get more than $1 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help the government cover expenses in the wake of Hurricane Omar.
"These funds will help get agencies back to where they were before Omar struck," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne C. Jackson, according to a Government House news release. The money will reimburse agencies for response costs and does not represent the total amount expected to be paid into local coffers, which will increase.
The Public Assistance program provides funds for government agencies and certain private non-profit organizations for emergency work, such as debris removal and overtime costs, as well as repair or replacement of damaged public facilities. Some money will defray the costs of removing sunken and damaged boats from the islands' harbors and shorelines.
"The cooperation between the federal and local governments has made this recovery operation proceed smoothly and efficiently," deJongh said, according to the release.
The government departments approved for funding in this first round include Planning and Natural Resources, Public Works, Human Services, Waste Management, Housing Parks and Recreation, V.I. Fire Services and the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency. These agencies have submitted the required documentation to support their claims for Omar costs.
Fifty-four government entities and private non-profits that provide essential government services have applied for federal disaster funding, the release said. The $1.16 million in federal money has been deposited with the V.I. Office of Management and Budget.
On Oct. 29, at deJongh's request, President Bush signed a major-disaster declaration for the territory, triggering Public Assistance funding for St. Croix, St. Thomas and Water Island, and hazard mitigation territory-wide. St. John was added to the declaration Nov. 11.
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