ByÂ John M. Guilfoil, Boston Globe
Governor Deval Patrick filed a request yesterday with the federal government to declare a â€œmajor disasterâ€™â€™ for parts of the state following the deadly tornadoes that ripped through Western and Central Massachusetts on June 1.
In a letter to President Obama, the governor said that 319 homes were destroyed and another 600 damaged. Patrick said Hampden County alone had more than $24 million worth of damage.
If the federal government makes the declaration, it would open the door to federal funding for those affected by the weather.
â€œThere would be a menu of programs available, from grants from FEMA, to short-term support dealing with everything from mental health issues, to temporary housing, to just trying to assist people in getting up and running again,â€™â€™ said Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
The funding would provide assistance in two ways. Public assistance aid would reimburse local communities, charities, and state agencies the costs incurred from cleaning debris, repairing buildings, and responding to the emergency.
The declaration would also provide individual assistance to residents and business owners to help them rebuild and recover from the damage.
Patrick is seeking the declaration for Hampden and Worcester counties, which suffered most from the storms.
But there are no guarantees.
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