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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 23, 1996


President Clinton today declared an emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and ordered federal funds to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area struck by extreme weather conditions and flooding on October 20, 1996, and continuing.

"Today I am declaring that a major emergency exists in Massachusetts. Federal funds will immediately begin to flow to Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk counties to help those communities recover as quickly as possible. I am directing the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, James Lee Witt, to travel to Massachusetts to review the damage and ensure a prompt effective response to this terrible disaster," said President Clinton.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Massachusetts. I commend you for your resilience in the face of such adversity. I want to assure you that we will do everything we can to see that you receive all the assistance you need to restore your communities," President Clinton said.

The President's action makes federal funding available to the counties of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk. Specifically, the declaration provides funding for disaster housing, debris removal, and emergency protective measures," said President Clinton.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is continuing to conduct damage surveys and additional designations may be made after the assessments are completed.