Yabucoa Added to Federal Disaster Declaration

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SAN JUAN, PR - Federal officials announced today that the municipality of Yabucoa has been added to the list of designated municipalities under the presidential disaster declaration of July 14, 2011. The disaster declaration was granted due to severe storms, flooding, mudslides, and landslides, which occurred in Puerto Rico from May 20 to June 8, 2011.

Accordingly, this newly designated municipality is eligible to apply for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (Infrastructure) and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds. These grants are for eligible state and municipal governments and certain private non-profit organizations on a federal cost-sharing basis covering 75 percent of eligible costs; state and local governments or private non-profits contribute the remaining 25 percent.

FEMA's Public Assistance grants reimburse eligible cost of emergency protective measures, debris removal, repair, restoration, reconstruction or replacement of disaster damaged public infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities and parks, and other recreational facilities.

FEMA's HMGP identifies cost effective local or state government projects to minimize natural hazards and help prevent future damages. Those projects may include flood-proofing; rebuilding or strengthening structures; building bigger culverts, redesigning bridges or upgrade utilities.

There are now thirteen (13) disaster designated municipalities, including Añasco, Caguas, Camuy, Ciales, Hatillo, Las Piedras, Morovis, Orocovis, San Lorenzo, San Sebastián, Utuado, Villalba and Yabucoa.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.