Baldacci seeks disaster declaration


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Gov. John Baldacci is seeking a federal disaster declaration for five counties for a howling storm that produced a record-breaking 78-mph gust in Portland, dumped more than 8 inches of rain on southern Maine and knocked power out to 150,000 homes and businesses.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Baldacci wrote Tuesday the state has verified more than $2.3 million in damage to public infrastructure for the period from Feb. 23 to March 2.

If granted, the federal government would reimburse towns, counties and state agencies for 75 percent of costs incurred in response to the storm in Cumberland, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc and York counties.

The request comes as officials in York County assess damage from another storm that dumped 8 inches of rain, causing more flooding.