President reverses FEMA’s denial, approves Mass. flooding disaster declaration
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President reverses FEMA’s denial, approves Mass. flooding disaster declaration

President Joe Biden declared Wednesday night that the flash floods that impacted parts of Massachusetts in September 2023 are a major disaster, opening up additional federal funding to people affected in Worcester and Bristol counties. The announcement reverses an earlier decision made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency last winter. Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey has appealed FEMA’s denial of her request for a major disaster declaration for Massachusetts as a result of severe storms last September that caused catastrophic flooding.In Worcester County, nearly a foot of rain fell in Leominster alone on the night of Sept. 11 and caused more than $36 million in damages in the city.”We believed from the beginning that we met all the criteria for the declaration,” Leominster mayor Dean Mazzarella said. His city was one of the hardest hit by the flash flooding. “This is exciting news especially for those families who experienced such loss,” Mazzarella said. “I don’t know the exact amount of fund that will be provided but I’m hopeful and grateful for all who worked so hard to get us here.”About 200 homes in the town of North Attleborough in Bristol County were also flooded or damaged during the Sept. 11 storm.Farmers in western Massachusetts, including Hampden County, had their crops plagued by rain all summer long.Video below: Leominster residents frustrated by denial of federal aid for flood damageHealey’s administration requested a major disaster declaration for Bristol, Hampden and Worcester counties. It was granted for Bristol and Worcester counties, according to the release issued by the White House. “Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” the White House release said. Last winter, FEMA denied Healey’s request.”Based on our review of all of the information available, it has been determined that the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments and voluntary agencies,” FEMA said in its denial earlier this year. Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 or by using the FEMA app.

President Joe Biden declared Wednesday night that the flash floods that impacted parts of Massachusetts in September 2023 are a major disaster, opening up additional federal funding to people affected in Worcester and Bristol counties.

The announcement reverses an earlier decision made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency last winter.

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Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey has appealed FEMA’s denial of her request for a major disaster declaration for Massachusetts as a result of severe storms last September that caused catastrophic flooding.

In Worcester County, nearly a foot of rain fell in Leominster alone on the night of Sept. 11 and caused more than $36 million in damages in the city.

“We believed from the beginning that we met all the criteria for the declaration,” Leominster mayor Dean Mazzarella said.

His city was one of the hardest hit by the flash flooding.

“This is exciting news especially for those families who experienced such loss,” Mazzarella said. “I don’t know the exact amount of fund that will be provided but I’m hopeful and grateful for all who worked so hard to get us here.”

About 200 homes in the town of North Attleborough in Bristol County were also flooded or damaged during the Sept. 11 storm.

Farmers in western Massachusetts, including Hampden County, had their crops plagued by rain all summer long.

Video below: Leominster residents frustrated by denial of federal aid for flood damage

Healey’s administration requested a major disaster declaration for Bristol, Hampden and Worcester counties. It was granted for Bristol and Worcester counties, according to the release issued by the White House.

“Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” the White House release said.

Last winter, FEMA denied Healey’s request.

“Based on our review of all of the information available, it has been determined that the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments and voluntary agencies,” FEMA said in its denial earlier this year.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 or by using the FEMA app.

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