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Disaster declaration considered for southern Maine after storm

Winter Weather
Robert F. Bukaty
A delivery truck drives through floodwaters on the Portland, Maine, waterfront during a powerful winter storm, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022.

Last weekend's powerful storm has left York and Cumberland counties with damage that could qualify them for disaster declaration and reimbursement for repairs from the federal government.

York County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Megan Arsenault says coastal and rural communities both suffered damage to public infrastructure such as roads and seawalls during the powerful storm.

"This storm was compounded by the high winds, drop in temperatures. It was the perfect storm," she says.

Arsenault says officials expect to see more violent storms in the future, due to climate change.

"As far as intensity of storms and frequency we have been seeing more in the past couple of years and expect to see more," she says.

Arsenault says every resident should have a disaster plan and know where the local shelter is.

Arsenault says for York County to have a federal disaster declaration, damages must total more than $900,000. The state of Maine's threshold is more than $2 million.

A disaster declaration means communities can be reimbursed for repairs.