Ohio requests FEMA assistance for governments after tornadoes, flooding

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor Mike DeWine says the state has asked FEMA to open its Public Assistance program to five counties impacted by May’s severe weather.

“Local governments in five counties and the State of Ohio have spent millions responding to the Memorial Day storms and have suffered millions more in damages,” said Governor DeWine. “This request, if granted by FEMA, will help them recoup some of those expenses.”

If FEMA approves the request, local governments, state agencies, and certain private, non-profit organizations in Columbiana, Greene, Mahoning, Mercer, and Montgomery counties would be eligible for federal funds for storm-related response and recovery efforts, including debris removal, emergency protective measures, and damaged infrastructure.

In a letter sent to FEMA, Ohio Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Sima Merick states that a preliminary damage assessment indicates about $18.1 million in eligible costs, of which two-thirds, or about $12 million, is for debris removal.

Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency for three of these counties (Greene, Mercer, and Montgomery) on May 28 after 21 tornadoes hit Ohio. A Presidential Disaster Declaration was approved by President Trump on June 18.

This newly-submitted request is an addendum to the ongoing disaster declaration.

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