Expedited FEMA Funding Supports Recovery in the U.S. Virgin Islands

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ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands — 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 September 7 disaster declaration for Hurricane Irma and the September 20 declaration for Hurricane Maria.

To date, 100 percent FEMA funding has been obligated for emergency projects under the two disaster declarations, including:

More than $24 million to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority to support power restoration efforts in St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, including Water Island;

$11.2 million to the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works to support large-scale debris removal operations;

$2.5 million to the Virgin Islands National Guard for protective measures to keep residents safe during the storms, and;

$3.5 million to the Virgin Islands 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.”

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS – Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

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.

For official information on the recovery effort following the hurricanes, please visit www.informusvi.com or www.usviupdate.com. Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/femaregion2 and www.facebook.com/FEMAUSVirginIslands.

To donate or volunteer, contact the voluntary or charitable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (NVOAD) at www.nvoad.org. For those who wish to help, cash donations offer voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover. The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands also has the “Fund for the Virgin Islands” at www.USVIrecovery.org.