Governor Mills Announces President Biden’s Approval of Major Disaster Declaration for January Storms

President Biden’s Declaration approves Governor Mills’ request for individual assistance for severely impacted Maine people  

Governor Janet Mills announced today that President Joe Biden has approved the State of Maine’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to help eight coastal counties recover from back-to-back severe storms on January 10th and January 13th that brought significant flooding and damage.

The President’s Disaster Declaration unlocks federal assistance to help Maine cover the cost of public infrastructure repairs, estimated at more than $70 million from the January storms. President Biden also approved Individual Assistance requested by Governor Mills that can provide direct relief to certain eligible individuals and families that experienced severe property damage.

The President’s Major Disaster Declaration covers public assistance and individual assistance for Maine’s eight coastal counties: Washington, Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland, and York. 

“I thank President Biden for his approval of my request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the January storms that devastated Maine’s iconic coast,” said Governor Janet Mills. “President Biden’s approval unlocks federal relief funds that will help Maine communities, individuals, and families as they repair storm damage. My Administration will continue to do everything possible to help Maine communities recover from and become more resilient to catastrophic weather events.”

In the coming weeks, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in partnership with Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and other State agencies, will establish Disaster Recovery Centers in impacted areas. FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) Teams will be deployed to Maine to help impacted individuals and families apply for Federal assistance that may help them pay for temporary housing, home repairs, and other needs resulting from the storm.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is expected to make low interest loans available to help impacted businesses of all sizes – as well as eligible homeowners, renters, and non-profit organizations - repair or replace property damage resulting from the storm. Businesses may also be eligible for working capital loans. U.S. Small Business Administration staff will be on site at Disaster Recovery Centers as they are established.

Disaster Recovery Center locations – as well as information about how impacted Maine people can apply for assistance in person, online, or by telephone – will be announced as soon as possible.

In the wake of the January 10 storm that caused significant flooding in infrastructure – and in anticipation of the January 13 storm – Governor Mills declared a State of Emergency for Maine’s eight coastal counties. At Governor Mills’ direction, on January 17, MEMA formally requested that the Federal government initiate a Preliminary Disaster Assessment, the first step toward requesting a Major Disaster Declaration for the two storms.

On February 23, Governor Mills requested a Major Disaster Declaration from President Biden, writing that the assessment determined the cost of public damage was beyond the ability of the State of Maine to address. The Governor also requested individual assistance, writing that the program was a “necessary component to the comprehensive recovery needs of disaster survivors spanning all eight coastal counties.”

The Major Disaster Declaration approved today for Washington, Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland, and York Counties is separate from the Major Disaster Declaration approved for the ten central and western Maine counties impacted by severe flooding, prolonged power outages, and extensive property damage in December.

The deadline for individuals and families in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset Counties impacted by the December storm to apply for Individual Assistance is April 1, 2024. Since the President granted the Disaster Declaration, $8.9 million in Individual Assistance has been distributed to Maine people.

The Governor continues to urge Maine people to apply for assistance. More information on how to apply can be found at

The Governor has also separately proposed $50 million to help communities rebuild infrastructure and enhance climate resiliency by introducing it as standalone legislation rather than as part of the forthcoming supplemental budget. It’s complemented by $5 million in her supplemental budget to help another 100 cities, towns, and tribal governments create local plans to address vulnerabilities to extreme weather through the Community Resilience Partnership.