BOSTON (CBS/AP) — President Barack Obama has declared that a major disaster exists in Massachusetts following the June 1 tornadoes, making the state eligible for federal disaster aid.

The announcement Wednesday means residents of Hampden and Worcester counties affected by the tornadoes blamed for the deaths of three people and the destruction of about 200 buildings are eligible for grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the disaster.

Donate: The CBS Boston Cares Massachusetts Tornado Relief Fund

Federal funding also is available to state and local governments as well as some nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the storms.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated county can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at, by web enabled mobile device at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Mass.Gov: Tornado Recovery

The tornadoes made hundreds homeless when it tore through downtown Springfield and east into southern Worcester County.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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