Some Maine towns and cities will be eligible for financial help from federal authorities for costs related to the blizzard of Jan. 26-28.

President Obama signed a disaster declaration Thursday for Androscoggin, Cumberland and York counties, after state authorities identified more than $2.5 million in costs related to the storm.

Gov. Paul LePage said Sagadahoc County is still assessing its costs and may be added to the declaration, which clears the way for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The late January storm dropped about 2 feet of snow on much of southern Maine, part of a string of storms that buried much of the state this winter.

The declaration means that towns and cities can apply for reimbursement of as much as 75 percent of the cost of cleaning up after the storm, or for repairing or replacing facilities that were damaged during the blizzard.

LePage said it’s rare for a state to get a disaster declaration for a snowstorm, “but when we break snow records, it also breaks the budgets for a lot of communities.”

FEMA doesn’t normally help states with snow removal costs, but LePage’s office said a special policy allows for disaster declarations when storms break snowfall records and meet state and county cost thresholds.

The governor noted that parts of Down East Maine got more snow than southern Maine, but because the snowfall didn’t break records, those counties aren’t eligible for federal help.

Portland has gone $700,000 over its $1.1 million budget for snow removal this year, spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said Friday.

“We certainly are glad to learn that we are getting relief,” she said.

Grondin said the city has to identify the 48-hour period in which it spent the most on snow removal, then apply for a partial reimbursement of that amount. She said the city will probably have figures available in a couple of weeks.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]