N.H. House Advances $2.9 Million Flood Relief Measure

February 27, 2006

New Hampshire towns damaged by last October’s floods would have their disaster relief expenses capped at $5,000 under a bill approved by the House last week.

The bill would allocate $2.9 million to pay the state’s portion of a federal disaster relief program and cover town expenses over $5,000. The money would go to communities, primarily in the southwest part of the state, where flooding washed away homes and roads this fall.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration typically pays 75 percent of qualifying disaster-related expenses. The state and towns are asked to pay 12.5 percent each.

Gov. John Lynch, in his state-of-the-state address in January, urged lawmakers to provide affected towns more aid than available under the federal program. He praised the House for passing the measure.

“Given the scope of the damage in the floods, the normal disaster match was much more than some of our communities could afford,” he said.

Besides this bill, a second House bill proposes to allocate $4.5 million to buy properties heavily damaged or destroyed in the floods in Acworth, Alstead, Langdon and Walpole. Purchases would have to be approved by the governor and executive council. That bill is expected to go before the House on March 7.

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