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Efforts Underway to Gain Additional Emergency Assistance

Franklin County is one of dozens of counties in Ohio still working on debris clean up more than a week after the record-setting winds of September 14th.

Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Mike Pannell says Governor Ted Strickland's initial request for federal assistance will allow cities, towns, townships and other jurisdictions to recover money only for emergency protective measures. He gives as an example the removal of a tree from a traffic signal.

This week, his agency and others across the state are helping jurisdictions assess and record the money spent on overtime, contractors hired and other costs associated with debris removal.

Each county will forward that information - on a spreadsheet - to the Ohio Emergency Operations Center where officials will decide if the costs are high enough to warrant a request for federal assistance to cover all storm-related costs.

Pannell says it is important for jurisdictions to recover such costs anytime, not just at a time when many budgets are stretched to the breaking point. Pannell says if some jurisdictions, often smaller ones, tried to budget for such events, the budget would likely exceed the area's ability to pay.