AUGUSTA — Three Maine counties have been declared disaster areas by President Obama for damage they suffered in heavy rain and flooding from Dec. 12 to 19.

Gov. Paul LePage learned today that a disaster was declared for Aroostook, Piscataquis and Washington counties as well as the tribal lands of the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Washington County. LePage’s request for a disaster declaration in Penobscot County was denied.

With the declaration, state and local government are eligible for federal assistance for the costs of emergency response efforts and to repair or replace bridges, roads and other storm-damaged public infrastructure.

The White House said in a release this evening that Obama signed the disaster declaration for Maine.

“The president today declared a major disaster exists in the state of Maine and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts” in the counties struck by the storms and flooding, the White House said.

The White House said the federal funding is “available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding” in the affected counties.