AUGUSTA (AP) – Six more Maine counties have qualified for federal aid following the deadly Patriot’s Day nor’easter, bringing to 12 the number that have received federal disaster declarations, Gov. John Baldacci said Monday.

President Bush declared a disaster Monday in Franklin, Hancock, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Somerset and Waldo counties, Baldacci said. Other counties receiving declarations last week were Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Knox, Oxford and York.

Washington County is the only county in the governor’s original request that’s still awaiting a declaration, said David Farmer, Baldacci’s spokesman.

The storm, described as the worst since the ice storm of 1998, struck on Patriot’s Day with gusts topping out at 81 miles per hour. It claimed the lives of a Sanford man who was overcome by fumes from his generator and of a Lebanon woman and her 4-year-old granddaughter from New Hampshire who were swept away while trying to cross a water-covered road.

Hundreds of trees and utility poles were toppled, leaving more than 120,000 homes and businesses in the dark.

Flood waters and intense surf also knocked homes from their foundations in Saco’s Camp Ellis.

As of Monday, the Maine Emergency Management Agency’s latest damage estimate stands at $43.8 million, Farmer said.

The declaration covers damage to public property including roads and bridges. A separate determination must be made as to whether homes and businesses qualify for individual federal assistance.

“It’s crucial that people report damage to their homes and businesses,” Baldacci said in a statement. “We need to gather as much information as possible about the extent of the storm’s impact.”

AP-ES-04-30-07 1755EDT


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