COLLEGE PARK – The Federal Emergency Management Agency 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 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’s Aisha Azhar contributed to this report.