The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided more than $41 million in expedited funding to support efforts by the Virgin Islands government to clean up storm-related debris, restore power and protect residents during and after hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The assistance comes through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, which is authorized to pay 100 percent of the costs for emergency work across the territory for six months following the Sept. 7th disaster declaration for Hurricane Irma and the Sept. 20th declaration for Hurricane Maria.
To date, 100 percent FEMA funding has been obligated for emergency projects under the two disaster declarations to include:
More than $24 million to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority to support power restoration efforts on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas as well as Water Island;
$11.2 million to the V.I. Department of Public Works to support large scale debris removal operations;
$2.5 million to the V.I. National Guard (VING) for protective measures to keep residents safe during the storms, and;
$3.5 million to the V.I. Department of Human Services to help cover costs to provide non-congregate sheltering for survivors.
“These initial Public Assistance grants reflect our commitment to the recovery effort across the Virgin Islands,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer William Vogel. “We strongly support the territorial government’s priorities of caring for survivors, getting lights turned on throughout the islands, and clearing roadways of debris for everyone’s health and safety.”