Federal aid is coming to storm-affected communities, per a declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (also known as FEMA). In a conversation with KBHR, FEMA’s Mike McCormick says, “The assistance that President Obama authorized in his declaration earlier this month will help Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and other communities of the Inland Empire, and throughout six counties of California, cover the cost of responding to January and February storms and the damage they caused.” This federal funding is available to state and local governments, tribal nations and certain private non-profits that provide essential government services for cost recovery related to debris removal, emergency protective measures, road systems and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and utilities, as well as parks. As McCormick explains, “The local agencies add up their costs and submit to FEMA for approval. When the totals are accrued, FEMA pays 75% and the state pays an additional 18.75%, which means that the local communities, the counties and the local agencies only pay 6.25% of the approved damages, losses and costs, which means police and fire overtime, the fuel they used, the food they ate, and the damage they had to repair.” San Bernardino County has already applied for such assistance and CalTrans, too, may be eligible for costs associated with the culvert repair and road replacement project on Highway 330.
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