President Barack Obama declared seven Maine counties damaged by severe storms this summer as
disaster areas, the Maine congressional delegation announced Thursday.

That means federal money will supplement state and local recovery efforts in Franklin, Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Somerset, Waldo
and Washington counties. Parts of these counties were struck by
severe storms, flooding and landslides from June 18 through July 8.

Federal funding is now
available to state and eligible local governments and certain private
nonprofit organizations for emergency work
and repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the wild weather. It will also help pay for hazard mitigation measures
statewide, the report said.

In their joint statement, U.S. Sens. Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins, and Congressmen Mike Michaud
and Chellie Pingree recognized and thanked Obama “for responding swiftly to our request for disaster declaration.”

They wrote to the President earlier this month, supporting the request.

“These storms have caused dangerous conditions and significant hardship in
Maine,” the delegation said. “The counties suffered significant and widespread damage resulting from heavy
rain, hail, damaging winds, flooding, erosion, and landslides.  With this announcement, federal disaster resources will be provided to assist
families and businesses that have been adversely impacted by these harsh weather
conditions,” they added.

Additional designations
may come later if requested by Maine officials and warranted by
results of further damage assessments.

James N. Russo of the
Federal Emergency Management Agency will serve Maine as the federal
coordinating officer for federal recovery operations.

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