CRISFIELD, Md.- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has reversed its decision and will grant individual aid for victims of superstorm Sandy in Somerset County.
Ken Mellette, the Executive Director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, encourages anyone in Somerset County who suffered damages to register with the FEMA toll-free number 800-621-FEMA (3362) as soon as possible. Mellette says the federal programs may be able to help cover costs not paid by insurance, including building repairs and temporary living costs.
Somerset County Emergency Operations Director Steve Marshall said he expects FEMA to be in the county to set up a disaster recovery center soon.
Maryland lawmakers are praising the FEMA decision.
"I'd like to thank President Obama, Senators Mikulski and Cardin and our entire Congressional delegation for making this assistance available to Maryland residents who have suffered severe economic hardship because of Superstorm Sandy. This assistance will provide much-needed and long-awaited relief for hundreds of residents in Somerset County," said Governor O'Malley. "I'd also like to thank our local partners like Senator Mathias who have been instrumental in highlighting the needs of residents. Together, we will continue to recover and build a more resilient Maryland."
"FEMA's approval of individual disaster assistance to Sandy's victims in Somerset County is a long-awaited gift this holiday season. It restores the light in some of our hardest hit communities during this Season of Light," U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski said. "Senator Cardin and I refused to stand by while red tape and regulations stopped residents from getting the help they need. While we are thankful and ready for assistance to begin in Crisfield and Somerset County's communities, we have not forgotten the rest of our communities. We will keep fighting for the victims of Sandy in Maryland."
"FEMA and President Obama have delivered great news for the people of Crisfield and Somerset County on what has otherwise been a sobering day. Hurricane Sandy hit the people of Somerset County particularly hard. The damage has been too great to expect the locals to handle alone and the federal government had to step in to help," said Senator Cardin. "Together, we also will continue to seek the needed assistance for other communities still struggling in their recovery efforts."
FEMA denied Somerset County's initial request for individual disaster assistance.