MEMA requests a specialized Preliminary Disaster Assessment Coastal Team to conduct a dual analysis of both the January 10th and January 13th storms
At the direction of Governor Janet Mills, Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) today requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) begin conducting a Preliminary Damage Assessment of last week’s storms that caused significant flooding and infrastructure damage along the Maine coast. The request is the first formal step toward requesting another Major Disaster Declaration from the Federal government.
Last Tuesday into Wednesday and Saturday, severe weather events brought historic flooding to the Maine coast, destroying homes, roads, buildings, docks, and iconic landmarks. At the direction of Governor Mills, MEMA today requested that FEMA dispatch officials to the eight Maine coastal counties – York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Waldo, Hancock, and Washington – severely impacted by the storm to begin reviewing and validating damage assessments gathered by local officials. MEMA specifically requested that FEMA send a specialized Preliminary Damage Assessment Coastal Team and that they conduct a dual PDA to formally analyze public infrastructure damages and emergency work expenses occurred as the result of both the January 10th and the January 13th storms.
If, following their assessment, FEMA agrees that costs resulting from the back-to-back storms are beyond the State’s abilities to address, as determined by a federal financial statutory threshold, the Governor will formally request a Major Disaster Declaration from President Biden.
Governor Mills and MEMA Director Pete Rogers continue to encourage any individuals and businesses that experienced damage from last week’s storm damage to report it to the State. While a damage report is not an application for financial assistance, the information will help the State of Maine measure the full impact of storm damage as it explores options for federal assistance. MEMA is asking that impacted parties report the damage from the January 10th storm by January 18th, and from the January 13th storm by January 22nd.
“Last week’s storms and flooding took a major toll on some of Maine’s most iconic landmarks, working waterfronts, roadways, and infrastructure. My Administration will do everything we can to help Maine communities rebuild,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I ask anyone who experienced storm or flood damage to report it to the State by dialing 2–1–1 or visiting my Administration’s Flood Resources & Assistance Hub. Your information will help us as we prepare to seek the maximum amount of federal assistance available.”
“MEMA is working hard to assess damage from last week’s storms, but the public can help us by reporting any property damage they experienced to the State,” said MEMA Director Pete Rogers. “To report storm and flooding damage, just dial 2–1–1 or fill out the survey appropriate for your situation on the Mills Administration’s Flood Resources & Assistance Hub.”
Additionally, the Mills Administration is exploring the possibility of requesting other assistance from the Federal government, including grant and loan programs available through various federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security, the Economic Development Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Maine Department of Marine Resources is also evaluating whether other Federal disaster declarations specific to the working waterfront could be requested, such as Fishery Disaster Assistance, though the Department anticipates that this type of request will require additional information related to the impacts, is a higher threshold to meet, and will take a year or more to establish revenue loss. Recognizing the need to rebuild docks, buildings, and wharfs on the waterfront, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is working on guidance for the necessary permits for rebuilding waterfront structures and we will share that guidance as soon as it is available.
The Mills Administration’s Maine Flood Resources & Assistance Hub contains links to surveys for Individuals & Households and Business and Agriculture entities to report their damage. The website, which also offers helpful information, resources, and assistance for Maine people who have impacted by flooding and damages, is at www.maine.gov/governor/mills/flood.
Last Thursday, Governor Mills declared a State of Civil Emergency for most Maine counties to mobilize all State of Maine resources to assist and support response and recovery efforts and position the State to seek Federal disaster support in the coming weeks. The State of Civil Emergency is scheduled to expire on Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 12:15 p.m. – seven days after it was declared. Last Friday, the Governor visited New Harbor to survey damage from the first storm system and urge people to make appropriate preparations for the second.