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Rhode Island Receives Federal Major Disaster Declaration

Governor Lincoln Chafee announces that President Obama has approved Rhode Island's request for a disaster declaration and for public assistance for Washington, Newport, and Bristol counties.

"Federal, state, and local government worked hard and coordinated effectively to gather information and get Rhode Island's request completed quickly," said Governor Lincoln Chafee. "I am grateful for the President's swift approval and his commitment to helping Rhode Island's recovery efforts."

This designation means that eligible municipalities, state agencies, and non-profits of these three counties are eligible to apply for repair to storm-damaged buildings or infrastructure or for projects to mitigate effects for future damage from similar storms.

"The dedication and support of all of our local, state, and federal partners made it possible for Rhode Island to get this approval so quickly," said Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Theresa C. Murray. "Our teams will continue to assess damages in the state and help communities begin the process of returning to normal. We are also calculating the damages to individual homeowners to determine if the state is eligible to apply for individual assistance."

Public assistance is requested by a municipality, state agency, or non-profit. Applicants prepare and submit an official request for determination of eligibility from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

To download a Request for Public Assistance form, visit

Preliminary Disaster Assessment field teams continue to visit Rhode Island communities and estimate damage costs.

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