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FEMA Agrees To Reassess Policy That Could Help Washington County Secure Federal Assistance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a conversation with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate Monday afternoon, Senator Susan Collins asked the Administrator to reassess the policy that would exclude Washington County from federal assistance to deal with the record-breaking amount of snow this winter. The conversation followed a letter sent to Administrator Fugate by Maine Senators Collins and King last week. Administrator Fugate has agreed to reconsider the policy.

“These extreme and successive storms have crippled many of the towns in the eastern part of Washington County where municipal resources are stretched thin,” said Senator Collins. “I am encouraged by my positive conversation with Administrator Fugate and will continue to push for the assistance that is so greatly needed.”

In determining whether to provide assistance, FEMA generally considers only the snowfall from a single storm rather than the cumulative total. According to the national weather service in Caribou, Maine, the amount of snow that has fallen in eastern Washington County over the past several weeks is “unparalleled” in the past 100 years or so. Cleaning up after a series of storms that result in many feet of snow is more burdensome, difficult, and expensive than dealing with just one or two “super snowstorms.”