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Balto. Co. getting $1.39 million for Isabel victims

By A Sun Staff Writer

Baltimore County will receive $1.39 million from the federal government to help victims of Tropical Storm Isabel elevate their homes above the flood plain, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin announced yesterday.

About 35 properties are eligible for the grant, county officials said.

The money comes as the 18-month anniversary of the September 2003 storm approaches next month.

The impending anniversary led Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. this week to send a letter to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. asking him to request that the Federal Emergency Management Agency extend the time frame of its disaster housing assistance to area families.

FEMA policy allows homeowners to stay in its temporary trailers up to 18 months, but a spokeswoman said yesterday that the agency will work with Maryland officials to find ways to continue helping Isabel victims.

State and local organizations often step in to provide assistance, but "we don't kick people out on the street," said Niki Edwards, a FEMA spokeswoman.

Dozens of families in Maryland are still living in the trailers.

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