FEMA teams assess damage in Maine

NOW: FEMA teams assess damage in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Seven teams of FEMA, state, and local officials assessed damage across Maine Thursday to potentially send federal funds to the state to pay for a portion of the clean-up costs.

The crews assessed damage from the windstorm at the end of October that knocked out power to nearly 500,000 people at its peak.

"The damage that happened is very significant to the people that incurred it,: said FEMA spokesperson Diego Alvarado. "We're here to see whatever damage they want to show us and we're committed to being here as long as it takes to accomplish that."

The state must reach the $1.9 million threshold in order to be eligible for a federal disaster declaration. The money would help state and local governments pay for up to 75 percent of the clean-up costs. Even Central Maine Power or Emera Maine could benefit from the funds, according to Alvarado.

After the teams complete the "preliminary damage assessments," they submit the reports to the Maine Emergency Management Agency, which presents the findings to Governor LePage.

The Governor then decides whether he will request a federal disaster declaration to get the assistance money.

If he files the request, it goes to the President, who then decides whether to issue the funds.

A MEMA spokesperson said it is unlikely that Mainers could receive individual assistance from the federal government because of the lack of widespread damage to homes.

If the President denies the request, the state and local governments would likely be on the hook to pay the costs completely.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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