Emergency officials in 16 South Carolina counties impacted by Tropical Storm Irma last month can now apply for some federal help after President Donald Trump issued a Major Disaster Declaration on Monday.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said disaster assistance is now available to help the state, local governments and certain private nonprofits on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and repairs after Hurricane Irma. The counties covered by the declaration are Allendale, Anderson, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Edgefield, Georgetown, Hampton, Jasper, McCormick, Oconee, and Pickens.
“A lot of the local governments and state government agencies who incurred damages and a lot of expenses as a result of Irma can now get some of that money back,” state Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker said.
Under the Public Assistance Program, governments can see a 3-to-1 reimbursement for debris removal, road repairs, and certain other costs. f the approved costs under certain categories such as debris removal and road repair related to the storm. The agency has already offered assistance to help cover emergency response costs.
The declaration does not allow individual residents to apply for assistance at this time.
The Governor’s Office said Gov. Henry McMaster formally requested the help on September 28.
FEMA said Warren Riley will serve as Federal Coordinating Officer for its operations.