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November 15. 2012 9:23PM

State seeks federal money with Sandy disaster declaration

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch and U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen on Thursday asked President Barack Obama to declare a major disaster in New Hampshire because of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy late last month.

"Hurricane Sandy resulted in the fourth largest power outage in the state's history with over 210,000 outages, and the closure of numerous state and local roads due to flooding, debris and downed lines and poles," Lynch wrote in a letter to the President.

Lynch's request covers all 10 of New Hampshire's counties and he estimated statewide damage at $3.6 million.

"New Hampshire is still actively responding to this disaster and assisting local communities in the recovery. Although New Hampshire is still in the process of fully quantifying the amount of assistance that will be needed from federal resources, a declaration at this time is critical in getting anticipated resources in place to protect life and public safety," Lynch wrote.

Shaheen sent a letter to Obama supporting Lynch's request.

"While Gov. Lynch and New Hampshire state agencies responded quickly to minimize the storm's impact on citizens, federal assistance is required to quickly meet the needs of the communities affected by this disaster. I urge you to grant a Major Disaster Declaration for New Hampshire as soon as possible in order to ensure that our state's businesses, towns and citizens have access to the resources and assistance they need to fully recover from this emergency," Shaheen wrote.

Four states - New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island - have been given declarations of major disasters because of the storm. New Hampshire was designated for an emergency declaration on Oct. 30.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency: "Emergency declarations trigger aid that protects property, public health, and safety and lessens or averts the threat of an incident becoming a catastrophic event. A major disaster declaration, issued after catastrophes occur, constitutes broader authority for federal agencies to provide supplemental assistance to help state and local governments, families and individuals and certain nonprofit organizations recover from the incident."


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