Governor Charlie Baker said Monday that he “absolutely” expects to ask the federal government for disaster aid for the Nor’easter that walloped Massachusetts last week, flooding several cities and towns, and leaving almost 50,000 customers without power as of Monday afternoon.
“With the stuff that the lieutenant governor and I saw over the weekend,” Baker said, “and the stuff other people have sent us photos on and pictures of, yeah, definitely.”
If President Trump declares the storm a major disaster for Massachusetts, state and local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations, like hospitals, would be able to have 75 percent of their eligible storms costs reimbursed. Those might include public safety workers’ overtime, repairing public buildings, roads, ports, and other similar items.
Depending on the scope of damage, the federal government could also offer assistance to individuals affected by the disaster.
“I think the big challenge we’re all going to have,” Baker said, standing with the Massachusetts Senate President and the House Speaker, “is once we get done with recovery, once people get the electricity back on, we’ve got to make sure we work with our local colleagues and our federal colleagues to collect the data that needs to be collected as quickly as we possibly can and thoroughly as we can to ensure we get a good bid in on stuff that would be eligible for federal reimbursement under the existing federal laws.”
In late 2015, Baker announced a projected $120 million in federal reimbursements for state, city, town, and nonprofit costs for the early 2015 monster snowstorm that thumped Massachusetts.Joshua Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.