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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 13, 1998
                            PRESIDENT CLINTON 

President Clinton today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Maine and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe ice storms, rain, and high winds which began on January 5, 1998. The President has asked Vice President Gore to travel to Maine in order to assess the damage and survey the efforts underway to help rebuild and restore homes and communities. The Vice President will visit Maine this Thursday, January 15.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected local governments in a 15-county area. The counties include Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Oxford, Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo, Washington, and York Counties.

Federal funding is available to eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the severe ice storms, rain, and high winds. Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional assistance and areas may be designated after the assessments are completed.