Governor Mills and Maine’s Congressional Delegation Announce President’s Approval of Disaster Declaration
Washington, DC (STL.News) Governor Janet Mills and Maine’s Congressional Delegation announced that President Joe Biden approved a Major Disaster Declaration for the counties of Knox, Waldo, and York as a result of damages from flash and tributary flooding between October 30 and 31, 2021. The Disaster Declaration was requested by the Governor and supported by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden.
On October 30 and 31, 2021, a rapidly developing area of low pressure tracked directly over these areas, leading to 4” to 6.5” of rainfall within a six-hour window. Last month, the Maine Delegation wrote to the President to express their full support of Governor Mills’ request.
“I thank the President for approving my request for a Disaster Declaration for Knox, Waldo, and York Counties,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Heavy rain and flash flooding last year caused serious damage to public infrastructure in these areas, and these Federal funds, secured with the support of the Congressional Delegation, will lighten the financial burden on local taxpayers as we work to rebuild.”
“We are pleased the President has granted Governor Mills’ request for a disaster declaration for Knox, Waldo, and York,” Senators Collins and King and Representatives Pingree and Golden said in a joint statement. “As we wrote in our letter to the President on February 24th, these three counties experienced extreme rainfall last fall, which led to widespread flooding in basements, extensive road washouts, and damage to public infrastructure. This much-needed federal assistance will help mitigate the significant hardship that Maine people and businesses experienced as a result of this severe weather event.”
In early November, Maine requested a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) for Public Assistance. On-site assessments were conducted in Biddeford, Rockport, Rockland, and Hope, Maine, and 20 PDAs were conducted virtually throughout November and December. The statewide PDA validated $2,377,906 in public infrastructure damages, which the State estimates will rise as this number does not fully encompass damages in a number of small, rural towns across Maine. Without federal assistance, these repair costs would fall solely on the state and local municipalities.
The approval is specifically for public assistance, which means that state agencies and municipalities in Knox, Waldo, and York will be reimbursed for approved costs.