Obama grants disaster relief for Maryland -- Gazette.Net


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Members of Maryland’s congressional delegation are lauding the decision of President Barack Obama to make the state eligible for federal disaster aid in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Obama declared a major disaster in Maryland on Tuesday because of the damage caused by the massive storm, which buffeted Maryland on Oct. 29. The state now is qualified for federal dollars to help cover damage costs, although the final tallies and reimbursement amounts aren’t likely to be known for months.

“Public assistance and hazard mitigation is good news for communities from the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland,” Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) of Baltimore said in a statement Wednesday. “It will provide much-needed support as we work to recover and rebuild lives and businesses.”

Damage in Western Maryland was particularly harsh due to heavy snowfall and downed trees, which knocked out power to more than 20,000 people in Garrett County alone.

“Sandy overwhelmed local and state resources,” said Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Dist.6) of Buckeystown in a statement. “This was the worst storm in 30 years in Garrett County.”

The delegation sent a letter to Obama earlier this month, urging him to grant Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D) request for federal aid.

The federal funding will be available to state and local government agencies — as well as some non-profits — in Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset , St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester counties as well as Baltimore city.

dleaderman@gazette.net