New Hampshire Congressional Delegation Urges Immediate Federal Response to Regional Flooding
U.S. Senators Judd Gregg and John Sununu (R-NH), and Representatives Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley (R-NH) today wrote to President Bush and FEMA Acting Director R. David Paulison requesting prompt approval of the State's request for a preliminary damage assessment and to support the state's anticipated request for Major Disaster Declaration due to heavy rainfall and flooding throughout the state.
The letter states, "Most regions of New Hampshire have suffered severe damage to both public infrastructure and private property as a result of heavy rain during the past four days. Reports indicate that some regions saw nearly a foot of rain within a 36-hour period and the subsequent flooding has destroyed roads and bridges throughout the state and heightened concerns of dam failures. Furthermore, high water has forced the evacuations of neighborhoods in several communities, the New Hampshire National Guard has been deployed to fifteen of the hardest hit communities, including Manchester, Hooksett and Raymond, and school and other important events have been cancelled for the past two days. In short, the rains have severely disrupted towns and cities from Concord to Nashua to Portsmouth as well as to those areas still recovering from the flood disaster of October 2005."
Senator Gregg, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency, stated, "Communities throughout the state are now grappling with very serious situations, with roads and bridges underwater and private homes flooding. Over the weekend, I contacted the White House to alert them to the severity of the damage caused from the storms. As soon as the state can assess the extent of the damage, we will push the White House and FEMA to provide federal assistance right away so neighborhoods and towns can start the clean-up and repair process."
Senator Sununu stated, "Historic levels of rainfall have washed out roadways, flooded cities and towns, and caused serious damage to businesses, homes, and properties across the state. With more of the same weather predicted, a preliminary damage assessment and disaster declaration is warranted and would serve as a tremendous help for thousands of people who are coping with an extremely difficult situation. My office continues to remain in touch with state and federal agencies, and I encourage the President and FEMA to immediately move this request forward."
"Our residents need to be assured that federal, state, and local emergency officials are working together to ensure the safety of our residential and commercial structures, our roads and bridges, and then to evaluate and repair the damage," said Bass. "As I have toured damaged communities and met with local officials, the need for decisive action to build confidence and establish a coordinated recovery plan is clear."
First District Congressman Jeb Bradley stated, "Over the last two days, I have met with state and local officials and first responders in several towns across southern New Hampshire as well as the Seacoast, and I have had a chance to view the extent of the significant flooding in Derry, Londonderry, Manchester, and Goffstown. Many roads and bridges are impassable, and many residents' homes are uninhabitable. We will work together to urge President Bush to approve the state's request for a preliminary damage assessment, as federal assistance will allow residents, businesses and municipalities in the affected areas to begin the rebuilding process."