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N.H. eligible for federal disaster aid following heavy rains, flooding

President Obama has declared a “major disaster” in New Hampshire, making the state eligible for federal aid to repair damage caused by heavy rains and flooding in late June and early July.

Gov. Maggie Hassan had requested the declaration, writing in a letter to Obama last month that initial estimates of damage in the state between June 26 and July 3 exceeded $6.25 million. The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Friday night that Obama had granted the request.

“Communities throughout western New Hampshire experienced significant and widespread damage from the recent severe storm and flooding, and with this major disaster declaration, they will now be able to access critical federal dollars to aid in their recovery,” Hassan said yesterday in a statement.

The state was hit by heavy rain and thunderstorms, washing out roads and bridges and causing flash flooding in some areas. Hassan declared a state of emergency July 3 in response to the storms.

Obama’s declaration means, among other things, that federal aid will be available to help repair or replace damaged infrastructure in Cheshire, Grafton and Sullivan counties, which were hardest hit by the storms.

The news was welcomed by New Hampshire’s entire congressional delegation; “This assistance will provide state and local authorities with the resources they need to continue to clear debris and repair damage,” they said in a joint statement.

Obama also declared a federal emergency in Vermont for storm damage in seven counties between June 25 and July 11.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or
bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

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