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Federal funds to help flood Grafton County repairs

  • Chris Moen, left, and Andy Hall of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation survey a destroyed bridge over the Orange Brook in Orange, N.H., on July 12, 2019. Heavy rains on Thursday night resulted in flooding, detaching a nearby porch from a home and clogged the culvert under the bridge. Moen and Hall work in the DOT's bridge maintenance department. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Jennifer Hauck

Associated Press
Published: 8/16/2019 9:30:06 PM
Modified: 8/16/2019 9:40:53 PM

ORANGE — 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.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation earlier this month reopened the bridge that carried Cardigan Mountain Road over Orange Brook in Orange, restoring a direct route to Canaan and providing access to Cardigan Mountain State Park about three weeks after the storms.

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