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FEMA limits funds, denies individual assistance

June 17, 2015

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently denied Gov. Eddie Calvo’s request for funds that would assist those whose homes were damaged during Typhoon Dolphin.

The governor requested more than $10 million in emergency funding for both the repair of GovGuam and individual assistance. He said he has 30 days to appeal the decision, reported The Pacific Daily News (http://bit.ly/1AdLYLz).

“We haven’t given up,” Calvo said Tuesday. “We have a team going back and looking at the reasons why it was denied so we can give FEMA a second look.”

The request states that nearly 400 homes sustained damage during the May storm, with nine homes completely destroyed and another 55 sustaining major damage.

Earlier this month, President Obama issued a disaster declaration for Guam, approving funding for disaster relief. However, that funding didn’t cover costs associated with damaged homes.

But the funding that has been approved will pay for the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities, as well as projects to prepare for future disasters.

Guam Memorial Hospital is a public facility that could benefit from the funds. Administrators estimated that the hospital sustained about $1 million in structural damage.

“The building sustained a lot of the usual damage associated with typhoon winds and conditions,” GMH spokeswoman June Perez said. “The money we would receive from FEMA would help bring us back to where we were before the typhoon.”

The typhoon’s center passed between Guam and Rota on May 15. The storm caused power and water outages on both islands.

Calvo said he is working nonprofit organizations, such as the Guam chapter of the American Red Cross, to figure out ways to provide help to individuals needing assistance.

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