EMA: Mahoning flooding relief is tied to FEMA declaration

Staff report


Portions of Mahoning County hit hard in the May 28 storm and flooding may be waiting a little longer for government assistance.

Dennis O’Hara, Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency director, said Monday though the county doesn’t qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency relief, FEMA is considering a disaster declaration for southwestern Ohio – portions of which, including Dayton, were leveled by tornadoes earlier that week.

O’Hara said Ohio EMA, in coordination with the National Weather Service, determined the storm system that caused those tornadoes was the same that dumped several inches of water on Boardman and Canfield in just a few hours May 28.

“That would make us eligible if they could get a declaration for Dayton,” O’Hara said. “It adds a lot of length to the process because we’re on FEMA’s time frame.

“I’ve been told weeks to a month. Or, it could turn around next week. I really don’t know until they compile everything from the southwest [of Ohio].”

Gov. Mike DeWine requested a disaster declaration for that area last week.

O’Hara said residents and businesses that sustained “major” or “destroyed” damage in the May 28 storm would be eligible for FEMA relief. Those who did not would still qualify for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For information on filing insurance claims, visit insurance.ohio.gov.