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Three Counties to Get Assistance for Snow Removal Costs during January Blizzard
March 13, 2015
For Immediate Release: Friday, March 13 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, press secretary, (207) 287-2531
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has announced that Maine’s request for a Presidential disaster declaration to address the costs of the January 26-28 blizzard in three Maine counties has been approved.
A disaster declaration has been approved for Androscoggin, Cumberland and York Counties. A damage assessment identified over $2.5 million in snow removal and response costs, as well as repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
“It is rare, and it should be, for a state like Maine to qualify for assistance for a snow storm,” said the Governor. “But when we break snow records, it also breaks the budgets for a lot of communities.”
Governor LePage said a special FEMA policy allows states to apply for snow assistance when storms break official records for snowfall and meet financial thresholds both statewide, as well as county by county. While many parts of Maine suffered from long stretches of snowy weather, including parts of Downeast Maine, only the January blizzard broke single-storm records in the counties where the disaster was declared.
FEMA will reimburse municipalities and state agencies for 75% 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 briefings will be scheduled in the three counties to inform communities how to apply for FEMA reimbursement.
Sagadahoc County, which is still assessing costs, could potentially be added to the declaration.