Trump approves Grafton County flood aid

President Trump approved Friday disaster aid for Grafton County towns hard hit by flash flooding and severe rains last month. Here, Michael Lemieux owner of Sculptured Rocks Farm Country Inn, drove his tractor past the road closed sign. The Inn property sits atop a knoll and as a result was not damaged in last week’s storm that caused flash flooding along the Cockermouth River.

CONCORD — The morning after President Trump visited New Hampshire, his administration announced it had approved a major disaster declaration for Grafton County due to a severe rain and flash flooding event last month.

Rescue efforts for flooding reported in Hebron, Groton, Rumney, Canaan, Orange and Plymouth last July 11-12 totaled nearly $2.9 million, Sununu said in a statement.

"At the peak of the incident, rapid flash flooding occurred with little warning that prompted a significant swift water rescue effort, washed out road infrastructure in ten communities, and significantly strained State and local resources," Sununu said.

"I thank President Trump for his timely response to my request. Through this major disaster declaration, those most heavily impacted by the storm can have access to federal support for response efforts."

This move means officials in these towns can seek support through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program or the Public Assistnce Program.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency can award up to 75 percent financing of eligible costs that include debris removal, emergency protection measures and permanent restoration of local infrastructure.

"We are very pleased to receive this declaration," Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jenn Harper said. "We will be reaching out to emergency management directors within Grafton County to provide meeting dates, information about the application process, and to assist with applications."

At the height of the storm, Sununu ordered open the State Emergency Operations Center on July 11.

Roads, bridges washed away in flash floods after several inches of rain fell in a short period of time.

A woman and her cat were rescued from a home in Grafton

A search of a Rumney campground, which was flooded with 3 feet of water, was completed and no one was injured.

Officials said multiple roads in Canaan and Orange were closed. 

The state's all-Democratic congressional delegation issued a joint statement praising the Trump administration's quick response to this request.

“Grafton County suffered from significant damage as a result of the July storm, and this Major Disaster Declaration will go a long way to helping the county rebuild important infrastructure,” the delegation said.  “We welcome the Trump administration’s decision to heed our call to provide assistance.”

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