White House declares NH disaster stemming from flooding

HEBRON, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire communities hit by severe storms and flooding this summer will be getting federal help.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said Friday that President Donald Trump has declared Grafton County a major disaster area for the July 11-12 flooding that washed out roads and left debris that restricted travel and emergency operations.

Most of the rain fell in less than six hours, with rates approaching 5 inches per hour. Rescuers helped some people evacuate their homes and from a campground.

"At the peak of the incident, rapid flash flooding occurred with little warning that prompted a significant swifter water rescue effort, washed out road infrastructure in 10 communities and significantly strained state and local resources," Sununu said in a statement. "I thank President Trump for his timely response to my request."

 

In his letter seeking the declaration, Sununu emphasized that many of the communities affected are small towns, like Orange and Groton, which will have to cut back on repairs, delay scheduled road work, increase taxes and take out loans in an attempt to recover.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's initial assessment found that the statewide costs related to the event were nearly $2.9 million. State officials will be reaching out to communities soon to set up meetings and assist them with the application process.

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