(The Center Square) – The Biden administration has partially approved a federal disaster declaration for New Hampshire as a result of storms and flooding over the summer.
Gov. Chris Sununu said the federal relief will be directed to communities in Cheshire and Sullivan counties, which were hammered by a series of storms in late July.
"Communities that were already facing damages from earlier in July now can start to rebuild," Sununu said. "The state will work with its local and federal partners to make sure the affected communities get access to funding."
The latest round of storms, from July 28 to Aug. 2, washed out roads and damaged infrastructure in 35 communities across the state, causing power outages and evacuations.
A previous storm event from July 17-19 washed out roads in 14 communities, flooded homes with several feet of water and created sinkholes in some communities.
Combined, with two weather events caused upward of $6 million in damages, according to the Sununu administration.
But Biden's disaster declaration approval does not include relief for storm damage that occurred on August 1-2, according to the Sununu administration.
Sununu said he will be appealing the decision not to approval the state's full request.
The federal disaster declaration will unlock Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance and allow residents and business owners affected by flooding and other damage to apply for funds to clean up, make repairs and get temporary housing.
In many cases, FEMA will fund up to 75% of the eligible costs of approved disaster mitigation projects.
The New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will be holding a series of briefings for communities that were affected by the storms, to explain the process of how to apply for assistance under the disaster declaration.
Members of the state's all-Democrat congressional delegation also wrote to Biden to back up Sununu's request for federal assistance following the devastating storms.
In a statement, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said the delegation is grateful for the federal assistance but will continue to push for the state's full request for disaster relief.
"This relief is a lifeline that will help our local governments restore damaged infrastructure and reimburse state agencies that provided costly assistance on the frontlines of the storms," she said. "We’ll continue urging the Biden administration to approve New Hampshire’s full request of funding through August, ensuring our municipalities have the resources they need to recover and become more resilient."