Two people walk past a house in January at 81 Fortunes Rocks Road in Biddeford that is leaning down toward the beach after having its foundation undercut by storm surge. Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald

The Biden administration has issued a “Major Disaster Declaration” for storms that hit Maine on Jan. 10 and Jan. 13, unlocking millions in federal assistance to help the state recover.

Gov. Janet Mills announced that eight coastal counties will be eligible for funding to rebuild from the storms that caused substantial flooding and damage.

Maine’s eight coastal counties – Washington, Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland and York – will be able to apply for funding to help cover the cost of public infrastructure repairs, estimated at more than $70 million from the January storms. Also, the federal government will offer assistance to eligible individuals and families that experienced “severe property damage,” the Mills administration said in a prepared statement.

“President Biden’s approval unlocks federal relief funds that will help Maine communities, individuals and families as they repair storm damage,” Mills said in the statement. She had requested the Biden administration make the disaster declaration earlier this year.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, partnering with the Maine Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies will establish Disaster Recovery Centers in areas affected by the storms. More information on the Disaster Recovery Centers will be announced in the coming weeks.

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams will be deployed to Maine to help people apply for federal money to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other eligible needs.

In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration is expected to make low-interest loans available to help businesses recover financially.

Information about how to apply for assistance – for families and businesses – will be announced soon.

The Major Disaster Declaration is separate from a similar disaster declaration made in response to the December storms that heavily damaged central and western Maine. People affected by the December storms have until April 1 to apply for aid. More information is available at

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