May 02, 2018

Mass. Congressional Delegation Urges White House to Approve State's Request for Major Disaster Declaration

Declaration Would Free Up Federal Funds for Disaster Recovery Following March Nor'easter

Text of the letter (PDF)

Washington, DC - The Massachusetts congressional delegation, including United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, and Representatives Richard Neal, James McGovern, Michael Capuano, Stephen F. Lynch, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Katherine Clark and Seth Moulton, yesterday sent a letter to President Trump urging him to swiftly approve the Commonwealth's request for a Major Disaster Declaration following a series of snowstorms that impacted the Commonwealth the weekend of March 2, 2018.  

On March 2-3, a Nor'easter struck the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, causing major flooding to homes and businesses along the coastline, widespread damage to trees, limbs, and utility company infrastructure, and prolonged power outages.  The Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA) conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) determined that at least 2,113 homes in coastal communities were damaged by the storm.  The PDAs also estimated that state and local damages in Massachusetts were over $23.8 million, which far exceeds FEMA's disaster threshold benchmark of $9.23 million.  

In their letter, the lawmakers emphasized the importance of the disaster declaration to recovery efforts and urged the timely approval of the Commonwealth's request. "Many communities throughout the Commonwealth incurred significant disaster response and recovery costs responding to the initial blizzard and subsequent record breaking snowfall," the lawmakers wrote. "Federal assistance is critically needed to help the Commonwealth repair public facilities and infrastructure damaged or destroyed by the storm, as well as to recoup the costs of snow removal and road treatment."

The delegation sent a letter to FEMA in March requesting that the agency support MEMA in handling the PDA process to determine the extent of infrastructure damage and recovery costs necessary for responding to the aftermath of the storms.