The State of New Hampshire received the news yesterday that President Trump has approved them for federal disaster assistance in area's that were damaged by the March 14 - 15, 2017, severe winter storm.

Robert J. Fenton, Acting Administrator Fema, DHS has appointed Albert Lewis to take charge as the FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in Belknap and Carroll counties. Lewis stated that other counties may be added after damage assessment results have been obtained.

FEMA funds are available to supplement state and local recovery efforts, as well as, certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis.

Recovery efforts include Emergency work and repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the storm.

Governor reaches out for help

New Hampshire Gov. Sununu requested federal assistance in May after a preliminary damage assessment had revealed the statewide cost of the March storm was over $2.1 million. The cost to Belknap County was $281,629 and $1.8 million in Carroll County.

Gov. Sununu stated that the two-day storm dumped 12 to 20 inches at a rate of two inches per hour, with winds of 80 miles mph; causing damage across the State. Within eight of 10 counties were hampered with the loss of electrical power which caused thousands of households to do without power, traffic accidents, forced over 500 schools to close and flight delays.

He noted that over 225,947 tons of salt was used this winter, New Hampshire third highest amount since 1942 and six of the counties had significant damage but did not meet federal thresholds on a per capita basis.

Communities can apply for assistance

Now that federal disaster assistance has been approved there will be a series of federal and state applicant briefings, at which the application procedures will be explained.

Recovery officials will announce location and times. Payments of up to 75 percent of eligible costs can be awarded for:

  • Debris removal and emergency protective measures;
  • Repairing or replacing damaged public facilities;
  • State and local governments undertake hazard mitigation projects
  • Certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities.

FEMA also offers help to survivors by providing year-round crisis counseling through the Disaster Distress Helpline, for those who are suffering from the emotional distress that can be experienced from any natural or human-caused disaster.