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March 3, 2004

March 3, 2004

SNOWSTORM DISASTER:
FEMA TO BRIEF GOVERNMENTS MARCH 16

For Immediate Release 3/5/04 2:30 p.m.
Contact: Terry Bennett
Emergency Services Program Coordinator
Oswego County Emergency Management Office
315/ 591-9150 terryb@oswegocounty.com

Fulton - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will hold a public briefing for government and non-profit officials who incurred costs during the Oswego County snowstorm January 28 - 31, 2004. The Applicants' Briefing will be held Tuesday, March 16, 9 to 11 a.m. at the Joint News Center, located on County Route 176 north of Fulton, next to the Oswego County Airport.

The declaration by President Bush enables governments and non-profit agencies that were affected by the severe snowstorm to apply for 75 percent reimbursement for costs related to emergency protective actions. The compensation will be for a contiguous 48-hour period within the four-day incident, and may be different for each community.

"We encourage chief elected officials and highway or department of public works superintendents for Oswego County's cities, towns and villages to come to the Applicants' Briefing," said Patricia Egan, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. "This is an important first step for municipalities to apply for reimbursement."

The declaration did not include funding for "Individual Assistance," Egan said, so homeowners and individuals who experienced emergency costs will not receive assistance from FEMA.

The FEMA program includes snow removal assistance for a 48-hour time period to the address the most critical needs, according to Governor George Pataki. Governor Pataki requested the assistance to reimburse state and local governments for emergency protective measures taken to save lives, protect public health and safety and property during those storms. Eligible costs for federal reimbursement include overtime, contracts, use of equipment, rental equipment, and materials and supplies including sand and salt.

Oswego County is one of four Central New York Counties that received the presidential declaration. The four-day snowstorm left up to seven feet of snow in areas of Oswego County, with snow falling at rates of up to six inches per hour. The Town of Parish was buried under a record 86 inches of snow. Oswego County Legislature Chairman Russ Johnson declared a state of emergency on Jan. 29, and rescinded it on Feb. 3.

"We're grateful for the State Department of Transportation's assistance in snow removal during the emergency, and for the State Emergency Management Office's facilitating that assistance," Egan said.

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