- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 30, 2004

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. yesterday requested federal disaster assistance for residents and businesses in five counties that sustained significant damage from the remnants of Hurricanes Ivan and Frances.

The aid would enable qualified disaster victims in Allegany, Cecil, Frederick, Harford and Washington counties to obtain loans and grants for damage to private property, officials with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency said.

“The tornadoes, severe storms and resulting floods severely damaged roads, buildings and other public and private property. This is the best course of action to assist this area and make federal resources available to them,” Mr. Ehrlich said.

The remnants of Frances struck Maryland on Sept. 8, causing floods, mudslides, road closures and power outages in Allegany and Washington counties.

Ivan’s remnants arrived Sept. 17, spawning tornadoes and violent thunderstorms in Cecil, Harford, Frederick and Washington counties. Two women were killed when a tree crashed onto a Cecil County home.

Statewide, the storms destroyed five homes and damaged 307 others, according to an assessment conducted last week by federal and state emergency management workers. Four businesses and a farm also were damaged, they found.

Mr. Ehrlich requested aid under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Individual Assistance Programs. Those programs include low-interest loans, cash grants of up to $25,000 per individual or household, and tax refunds.

He also requested hazard mitigation assistance and loan assistance statewide. Hazard mitigation addresses structural or environmental damage, such as restoring streambeds or elevating housing in flood-prone areas.

FEMA provides disaster assistance that is beyond the capacity of the affected state, FEMA spokesman Ross Fredenburg said. He said there is no established time frame for processing the request.

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