North Country communities seek aid for April floodingBy JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent
May 15. 2014 9:37PM
COLEBROOK — Almost turned into an island during last month’s flooding, this community and others in the North Country are being eyed for a potential federal disaster declaration.
Before President Barack Obama can issue such a declaration, however, an assessment must be made of the damage to properties and public facilities.
Colebrook Town Manager Becky Merrow said representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were in her community on Tuesday to do just that.
Last week, Executive 1 District Councilor Joe Kenney toured the North Country with Commissioner Christopher Clement of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to inspect roads, bridges and infrastructure, some of which were due for routine maintenance and others damaged by the April 15 flooding.
On Thursday, Gov. Maggie Hassan’s spokesman William Hinkle said the governor’s office and emergency management officials are “working closely with FEMA to assess if the state meets the threshold to qualify for a federal disaster declaration.”
According to the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, flooding conditions were reported on the night of April 15 in Franconia, where two roads were closed due to the Gale River going over its banks; in Colebrook, where Merrow said three of the four roads into town were flooded; and in North Stratford, where the NWS said both Meriden Hill Road and South Jordan Hill Road were “completely washed out,” temporarily stranding residents in 16 households.
Elsewhere within Coos County, Bungy Road in Dixville Notch was partially washed out in one section, the NWS said, while flooding closed Hall Stream Road in Pittsburg as well as NH Route 26 at the Millsfield town line and US Route 3 in Thornton near Mirror Lake Road.
Farther south, the flooding damaged a large culvert on River Street/Route 113 in East Conway and closed roads in Holderness, Plymouth and in the Haverhill/Woodsville area, according to the NH DOT.