Governor Mills Requests Major Disaster Declaration from President Biden to Help Cumberland and York Counties Recover from April Nor’easter

Governor Janet Mills today formally requested that President Joe Biden issue a Major Disaster Declaration (PDF) to help Cumberland and York Counties recover from the severe April Nor’easter that resulted in significant infrastructure damage across southern Maine.

In a letter today to President Biden (PDF), Governor Mills wrote that costs resulting from the two-day storm – including debris removal, damage to roads and bridges, and emergency protective measures – is expected to exceed $3.5 million.

If President Biden approves Governor Mills' request, Maine would gain access to emergency grants from FEMA that could help communities across the two counties as they continue to recover from the storm.

“With the increased frequency and intensity of storm events in Maine over the last 24 months, emergency management officials across all levels of government remain stretched in their fiscal and programmatic capacity to respond to and recover from disasters,” Governor Mills wrote in her letter to President Biden. “While my administration has pledged $60 million to helping Maine communities recover and build back stronger from recent disaster events, supplemental grants through FEMA would specifically enable communities across Cumberland County and York County to support the comprehensive recovery needs associated with the severe early April storm.”

The requests submitted by the Governor are specifically for Public Assistance (PA) Program and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides supplemental grants to State, local, and Tribal governments so communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides funding to State, local, and Tribal and governments so they can develop hazard mitigation plans and rebuild in a way that reduces, or mitigates, future disaster losses in their communities.

Last month, Governor Mills signed into law her proposal as part of the supplemental budget to make available $60 million to help Maine communities recover from recent severe storms and increase their resiliency to future severe storms. The Governor has directed her Administration to plan to immediately distribute funds as soon a statutorily possible.