Large boulders from a sea wall rest in Fortunes Rocks Road in Biddeford on Jan. 14, near a home that is leaning toward the beach after having its foundation undercut by storm surge. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Gov. Janet Mills formally asked President Biden on Friday to issue a major disaster declaration to provide relief following a set of storms that battered Maine’s coast in January.

The funds would be used to repair roads, bridges, public buildings and utilities and other public infrastructure in Washington, Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland and York counties, which together suffered about $70.3 million in damage to public infrastructure. Mills also asked Biden to authorize programs that would provide financial assistance to individuals and households that are uninsured or underinsured.

“With much of the marine and aquaculture field operating out of primary homes with private docks, hundreds of disaster survivors are now fighting to sustain generational family businesses with limited support,” Mills wrote in her request. “Maine produces 90% of the nation’s lobster supply and is home to a thriving marine economy now at risk of decline. The recovery of Maine’s coastline will require the support of every federal resource available.”

The Jan. 10 and Jan. 13 storms pummeled Maine’s coastline with heavy rain, flooding, ocean swells, record high tides and wind gusts of up to 60 mph. Waves slammed into homes and flooded roads.

The two storms also severely damaged Maine’s working waterfront. According to preliminary estimates from the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, 60% of Maine’s working waterfront was either severely damaged or destroyed.

Federal aid from a disaster declaration would only be used for public infrastructure, but a declaration would enable the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide low- or no-interest loans to individuals and businesses.

This would be the fifth disaster declaration issued by President Biden in Maine since December 2022. The state has an active disaster declaration for another storm in December that affected communities across central and western Maine, causing more than $20 million in public infrastructure damage.

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