Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Damages from June’s derecho storm cost Maryland more than $19 million. Now, the federal government is stepping in to help.
Jessica Kartalija reports.
Most of the damages went toward debris removal and paying government employees overtime.
In June, a 60 mph storm called a derecho swept through Maryland–forcing trees through buildings and power lines.
“Now that the disaster is over with and the life safety issues are over with, now it’s the economic impact we are taking care of,” said Ken Malette.
A presidential disaster declaration has been granted, helping counties cover the areas hardest hit.
“There are individual county thresholds based on certain damage amounts. There are six areas within the state that have met those thresholds, if you will, and have been awarded declarations by the president,” said Regis Phelan, FEMA.
Those include Calvert, Charles, Kent, Montgomery and Saint Mary’s County, plus Baltimore City–where damages were more than $4.5 million.
“We worked very hard during the derecho to make sure we kept copious notes and documents of all of our expenditures,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
“The partnership is key here, it’s not the federal government coming in and telling the state what to do,” said Phelan.
Other counties in Maryland are eligible for federal funding. Once they submit an application, it will be reviewed and money may be granted to those counties in most need.
If additional counties are deemed eligible for support, they could receive a check within months.
“Between the state of Maryland and FEMA, they allow and produce what is called ‘Project Worksheets.’ That’ll actually go through the process of looking at the damage, looking at the recovery costs,” said Phelan.
Maryland was also granted hazard funds to prevent any future damages.
Maryland is the latest state to receive funding, along with Virginia and Washington, D.C.