N.H. Lawmakers Approve $5 Million to Help Flooded Communities

May 22, 2006

New Hampshire lawmakers rushed through $5 million in emergency help for flood-ravaged communities on Friday.

Gov. John Lynch asked for the money and the Legislative Fiscal Committee unanimously approved it.

“I’ve seen firsthand the damage to our roads, to the infrastructure in the towns and cities, and I’ve urged them to begin the rebuilding process just as quickly as possible,” Lynch said.

Starting with a conference call Tuesday, cities and towns will be able to apply for money to rebuild roads, bridges and public buildings. Once the repairs are made, communities would seek reinbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and pay back the state.

Lynch said he hopes the vote sends a message to cities and towns that the state is behind them.

“It will still take some time before the cities and towns are even able to apply for federal assistance,” he said.

The state took the same steps to help towns in the Alstead area after October’s floods, Fiscal Committee Chairman Fred King noted.

Lynch repeated his advice to homeowners to keep detailed notes and photographs to expedite any claims they make for federal help.

Lynch met Friday morning with officials from FEMA, which began assessing damage later Friday in Manchester. Damage assessments in two other areas were postponed because not enough FEMA personnel arrived, state emergency services spokesman Jim Van Dongen said.

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