The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 31, 2013

Ashtabula County to receive Hurricane Sandy relief funds

By CARL E. FEATHER - cfeather@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

— Ashtabula County has been added to the federal disaster declaration for remnants of Hurricane Sandy, but the declaration won’t help private property owners who sustained loss from the hurricane or “super storm.”

The Ashtabula County Emergency Management Agency made the announcement of inclusion on Wednesday. Local governments, schools, universities, special districts and certain non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for the assistance.

“Keep in mind this is for public property,” said Tim Howson, deputy director for the county EMA. In other words, private property owners need not apply.

EMA Director George Sabo stated in an email that the marina at Geneva State Park was, to the best of his knowledge, the only local entity to receive damage that would qualify for assistance under the declaration. Park Manager Phillip Vichosky said the strong winds from the north pushed sand into the entrance channel, which will have to be dredged before the marina can open to boats in the spring.

Vichosky said channel depth measurements were taken prior to the storm and new measurements are being made to determine the extent of the clogging. Once that is known, a dollar estimate can be set on the remediation work.

By the time the storm hit this area, very few boats remained in the marina to be affected by the high winds or the sand in the channel. “Most folks had enough time to get their boats out of the marina,” he said. “The majority of the boats were out before that storm hit.”

The county EMA office wants to hear reports of any storm damage to public property. Sabo said deadline for filing the first application, via email or fax, is Feb. 27.

The EMA office’s number is 576-9148, or send email inquiries to EMA@ ashtabulacounty.us.