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FEMA to begin damage assessment from December storm

Cars are flooded in a parking lot at the Hathaway Creative Center alongside the Kennebec River, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, in Waterville, Maine. A severe storm on Monday flooded rivers and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands.
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
Cars are flooded in a parking lot at the Hathaway Creative Center alongside the Kennebec River, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, in Waterville, Maine. A severe storm on Monday flooded rivers and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will begin the process of assessing damage in Maine from last week's storm.

The Mills administration had requested that FEMA do a damage assessment, which is needed for the state to eventually receive federal funding to help it recover.

Local groups have already begun estimating the cost of the damage from rain and heavy winds that caused widespread power outages, flooding and road washouts.

If FEMA agrees that the storm damage reached a certain threshold, the state can then request a major disaster declaration, which would unlock federal recovery funding.

Officials are encouraging members of the public to report any storm damage to their property by calling 211.

The state of Maine has set up a website to help people affected by the storm to connect with potential resources.

The website provides information on reporting storm-related damage to the state, links to file for unemployment benefits and information on how to replace food that had been purchased through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The site also has links to frequently asked questions on whether insurance policies typically cover flood or storm damage.

The website can be found at www.maine.gov/governor/mills/flood.