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Following Devastating Floods, Shaheen Leads NH Congressional Delegation Letter to FEMA Requesting the Agency Standby to Provide Disaster Assistance Funds

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), along with U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01), sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell in support of New Hampshire communities following severe flooding and wind damage. The letter urges FEMA, in the event the state asks, to work with affected counties and the state government to respond to severe flooding and wind damage and if the state asks for a disaster declaration, to make assistance available quickly. 

“The effect of the heavy rainfall and flooding were felt throughout the state with numerous road closures due to rising water and full roadway washouts. In addition to transportation infrastructure being damaged, there are reports of homes being destroyed in northern New Hampshire and some residents having to be rescued by National Guard helicopter. The full extent of the damages throughout the state won’t be known until the waters recede,” the Delegation wrote.   

On December 18, 2023, a massive storm system swept across New England, bringing rain and winds with speeds approaching Category 1 hurricane force. Many places in New Hampshire recorded rainfall of 1.5 to 3 inches, with at least one community experiencing much as six inches. This heavy rainfall was exacerbated by unseasonably warm temperatures that melted snow, which increased the water level in streams and rivers. Flash flood warnings were in effect over broad swaths of the state. 

“State officials have said that much of the current damage is to infrastructure, and there is a concern that snow could soon fall and cover the damage, making a true accounting of the damage more difficult. Given the extensive flooding and wind damage, we call on FEMA to stand ready to participate in a Preliminary Damage Assessment with state and local officials, should the state request it,” the Delegation continued.   

Full text of the letter is available here.