Preliminary flood damages exceed disaster threshold

·2 min read

May 16—FARMINGTON — Franklin County reported nearly $1.46 million in initial estimated public infrastructure damage from the April 30 through May 1 rainstorm that resulted in widespread flooding.

It is one of nine counties, including Androscoggin and Oxford, that exceeded its threshold for damage assessments, which determine eligibility for a federal Presidential Disaster Declaration, Amanda Simoneau, director of the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency, said Monday.

The state' threshold is $2.41 million, and by Friday, the state had tallied initial damage assessment of nearly $8.17 million, Vanessa Corson, public information officer for Maine Emergency Management Agency, wrote in an email Monday. It exceeded the the state's threshold by about $5.76 million.

The state is verifying reports to confirm everything was done correctly, Simoneau said. Once the state confirms the numbers, it will go through a process, including submitting the report to Gov. Janet Mills to see whether the state applies for a federal disaster declaration.

The next step is having Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel visit some of the more heavily damaged areas, Corson said.

The other eight counties that exceeded their thresholds are Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Sagadahoc, Somerset and Waldo. These counties will engage in the Preliminary Damage Assessment process involving FEMA, municipal officials, and Maine Emergency Management Agency staff to validate some of the damages captured in the preliminary damage assessment process, according to Corson. Maine EMA is coordinating with all partner agencies in the scheduling of next steps, Corson said.

Maine's preliminary damage assessment threshold is about $2.4 million, said Angela Molino, director of Androscoggin County Emergency Management Agency. The county's preliminary assessment of the so-called May Day Storm is about $2.2 million, she said. It exceeds the county's threshold of $489,012.

Franklin County's damage threshold is $129,606.

"We had 15 towns (including the unorganized territories) report damages," Simoneau wrote in an email.

She said she is still reaching out to get preliminary damage assessments from towns and unorganized territories. Other EMA directors are doing the same.

Oxford County's preliminary damage assessment was nearly $2.1 million, said Allyson Hill, director of the Oxford County agency. It surpassed the $254,219 threshold.

In Somerset County, EMA Director Mike Smith has collected nearly $1.3 million in estimated preliminary damage assessments. The threshold for that county is $222,099.

His agency is still collecting preliminary estimates. So far, 15 towns plus some unorganized territories have reported damages. Somerset County is home to dozens of unorganized territories.

"We still have roads that are completely closed," Smith said.

County personnel are waiting to hear from the state whether a disaster is declared.

NOTE: The state did not meet the threshold for federal assistant for individual and home programs. It was a reporter error.