Feds Deny Storm Assistance to Eastern Shore - Southern Maryland Headline News

Feds Deny Storm Assistance to Eastern Shore


By MARIA-PIA NEGRO

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied Maryland’s request for financial help for lower Eastern Shore residents affected by Superstorm Sandy.

“This decision will make it more difficult for hard hit residents of the Eastern Shore to recover from the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a statement.

Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) officials said they would appeal the decision. The state had sought assistance for residents in Dorchester, Somerset and Worcester counties.

“It's going to be very tough on the community and the county and the residents. It is what it is,” said P.J. Purnell, the mayor of Crisfield in Somerset County, which was hit hard by the storm.

The state has 30 days to appeal the denial. FEMA officials said that the agency determined that state and local volunteer agencies were able to handle the damage without federal help for individual residents.

“It was determined that is not beyond the capability of the state and local volunteers agencies to give assistance at this time,” said Mike Wade, a FEMA spokesman.

To successfully appeal the denial, Maryland needs to show that the state and local governments exceeded their capacity to help citizens.

“We need to get more documentation about the damage. We are doing that now,” said Ed McDonough, a public information officer for MEMA. He asked people with damage from Sandy who have not yet reported it to the state to do so.

“That’s the information that we need,” to appeal the decision, McDonough said.

FEMA is helping to pay for part of the cost of rebuilding public property damaged by the storm like government buildings and roads in 17 Maryland counties and Baltimore city that were affected by the storm.

Capital News Service reporter Aisha Azhar contributed to this report.

Relief Effort Donations Needed in Time for the Holidays

HOLLYWOOD, Md.—Burch Oil is coordinating a Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort for our neighbors in Crisfield, Maryland in time for the holidays. The truck is scheduled to head over to the Eastern Shore on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. Having taken quite a hit during the late October superstorm, the community finds itself in serious disrepair and in need of help.

"We recently learned of Crisfield's troubles through social media," stated Sheri Burch Norris, Burch Oil's Director of Marketing. "And when it was brought to our attention, we knew we needed to do something for our Maryland neighbors. We are hoping the Southern Maryland community will make much-needed contributions and donations."

According to Crisfield Mayor Jay Purnell, the most needed items for distribution to the Crisfield community during this holiday season are non-perishable foods, diapers, wipes, and new toys. The public may drop off contributions to the Burch Oil office in Hollywood during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) prior to Wednesday, December 19, 2012.

Many homes and businesses were destroyed due to severe water damage. Mayor Purnell requested that monetary contributions to cover the costs of "desperately needed building materials" be mailed directly to:

City of Crisfield
319 West Main St.
Crisfield, MD 21817
(in check memo, please indicate: "for relief effort")

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