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President Obama Approves Federal Funds For Md. Irene Relief

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Friday, President Obama approved federal funds for several counties in Maryland recovering from Hurricane Irene.

Andrea Fujii has more on the recovery efforts for families still trying to get back to normal.

Maryland suffered nearly $16 million in damage from Hurricane Irene. Now, the state will get some of that money back.

As Hurricane Irene swept across Maryland nearly three weeks ago, it destroyed homes, stranded residents and uprooted trees.

Sky Eye Chopper 13 showed the flooding that left neighborhoods under water.

Lonnie Manly is just one of many in Queen Anne’s County who lost part of his home.

“Gotta just clean up and go from there, and start over again,” Manly said.

Now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help pay for the $16 million in damage across the hardest hit counties– Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester.

“When you really start looking deeply into some of the roadways that were damaged, trees that were down, power lines that were down, all those critical infrastructure, it really does add up pretty quickly,” said Edward Hopkins, spokesman for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

The federal government will reimburse state and local governments 75 percent of reconstruction costs. MEMA says the money is a relief.

“Anything that they can get replaces the money in their budget, works much better for them in the long run,” Hopkins said.

Though this FEMA aid won’t help with damage to family homes, some residents say they plan to rebuild on their own.

“We’ll get through it. They can all be washed, if they didn’t break,” said Phyllis Pearson, a Queen Anne’s County resident.

MEMA says it is also applying for federal aid for flooding damage from Tropical Storm Lee.

The last time FEMA provided federal relief for Maryland was after the blizzards of February 2010 with more than $30 million in aid.

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