AUGUSTA, Maine – President Barack Obama has approved Maine’s request for a presidential disaster declaration to address the costs of the Feb. 8-9 blizzard in four Maine counties, according to Gov. Paul LePage’s office Monday.
A disaster declaration has been approved for Androscoggin, Cumberland, Knox and York counties. A damage assessment identified more than $3.5 million in snow removal and response costs, as well as damages from coastal flooding.
“It is rare, and it should be, for a state like Maine to qualify for assistance for a snow storm,” the governor said. “But when we break snow records, it also breaks the budgets for a lot of communities.” LePage said in a press release from his office that a special FEMA policy allows states to apply for snow assistance when they break official records for snowfall and also meet financial thresholds both statewide, and county by county.
FEMA will reimburse municipalities and state agencies for 75 percent of their costs for at least 48 hours of snow removal, as well as for costs associated with emergency protective measures, and any infrastructure damage related to the storm. Public officials briefings will be scheduled in the four counties in the near future to inform communities how to apply for FEMA reimbursement.
Several other counties are assessing costs, and potentially could be added to the declaration.