Town of Andover officials have been closely monitoring and responding to impacts resulting from severe rainfall and flooding that has occurred over the last two weeks.
The Town’s Emergency Management Director, Town Manager, and other senior officials have been in communication with regional officials from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to determine appropriate actions that should be taken in response to the severe rainstorm and to inquire about the availability of disaster relief funds for impacted individuals and businesses.
MEMA conveyed that the disbursement of federal funds is determined on a county basis and not a per-town/city basis. As a result, the decision of the federal government to provide funds is not specific to Andover and is part of a broader analysis.
Through these conversations, MEMA also confirmed that declaring a local state of emergency has no impact on a municipality’s eligibility for funding. In other words, declaring a local state of emergency is not a requirement for any state or federal funding opportunities. It also does not bolster a municipality’s chances of securing funding. According to MEMA, individual assistance to homeowners and businesses requires a request be made to the President for a major disaster declaration. These requests are made by the FEMA Regional Administrator based on damage assessments conducted by MEMA.
In the interest of exhausting every avenue for the benefit of the community, Town Departments, including the Fire Department, Police Department, and Department of Public Works, are internally collecting municipal data that will be promptly shared with MEMA. Residents or businesses that have experienced a loss or damage may submit information related to the loss to email@example.com. This information will be forwarded to MEMA. If individual assistance becomes available through a federal disaster declaration, residents and businesses can expect to be contacted directly for additional information. The final determination on the availability of financial assistance will be made by MEMA and FEMA and based on the regional damage assessment. While the Town may contribute information to this process, the Town does not have final discretion over the outcome.
Residents who have experienced basement flooding or other property damage as a result of the August 8 rainstorm are encouraged to contact their homeowner’s insurance companies to report a claim.
The Town of Andover will continue to work with MEMA and continue the discussion of potential opportunities for homeowners and businesses. Please be assured that we will continue to be active participants in any discussion involving potential funding should it become available moving forward.
Massachusetts Storms Clean Up Hotline: 617-207-5633