COLUMBIA, S.C. (Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 1:15 p.m.) – In response to Governor Nikki Haley’s request, President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster area for parts of South Carolina.
Federal disaster aid is now available for 21 counties in South Carolina which were most severely affected by the February 10-14 winter storm. The FEMA Public Assistance program helps reimburse local and state governments and non-profit organizations and co-ops for certain expenses they incurred. Because the ice storm damage was not significant and widespread on uninsured homes or businesses, the citizens are not eligible for federal assistance in this instance.
On March 4, Governor Haley formally requested a disaster declaration from the White House for Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Marion, Orangeburg, Saluda, Sumter, and Williamsburg counties. Her request followed an assessment of damages by representatives of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, affected electric co-ops, and local and municipal governments.
Under the Public Assistance Program, state and affected local governments are eligible to apply for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the storm, and the repair or replacement of damaged public utilities. The division of the remaining 25 percent will be determined later. More information about this program can be found here.
The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce – or mitigate -- future disaster risks. Funds under this program will be available to state agencies, local governments, and certain non-profit organizations only. A wide variety of potential projects is eligible.
The S.C. Emergency Management Division will explain procedures for requesting assistance at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.