NH seeks disaster assessment for Christmas storm

Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 4:01 PM EST
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WEST LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) - New Hampshire this week joined Vermont in asking FEMA to access the damage caused by the pre-Christmas storm.

It’s been more than two weeks since the winter storm rolled through the region, knocking out power to tens of thousands. Some communities in New Hampshire are still cleaning up.

“There are still sections of the state that are under construction right now, so if you look at the Lakes Region and Governor’s Island -- I believe is the one island that still have significant damage today,” said Robert Buxton, New Hampshire’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management director.

And like the damage caused across Vermont during the December storm, New Hampshire is in the process of applying for federal emergency disaster funds. About 126,000 Granite State residents lost power during the storm.

“We started with rain and we knew on the backside of the story we are going to get some high winds on the leeward side of the White Mountains all the way down to the Seacoast -- which we did. And then the unexpected piece -- as the storm was leaving, we ended up with a high wind velocity,” Buxton said. He says flooding also caused damage and several counties across the state have already met the initial damage assessment threshold for disaster funding. “We will be going through, not only our state stakeholders, but we will also be talking with all the communities throughout the state.”

FEMA officials are expected to be on the ground for several weeks but officials say it could be several months before an official disaster declaration is awarded.

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