U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe today announced that Maine was awarded nearly $2.2 million in disaster grant funding as part of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funds will assist communities in Maine that are recovering from the severe storms and flooding that struck this spring.
“Spring flooding in the northern and mid-coast regions of Maine caused extraordinary damage to homes, buildings, and infrastructure,” Senators Collins and Snowe said in a joint statement. “We have seen first-hand the terrible effects of these floods, which resulted in many regions of Maine being declared disaster areas. These much-needed funds will go a long way in helping communities still recovering from these historic floods.”
These CDBG disaster assistance funds were included in the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 that Senators Collins and Snowe both supported. The law provided emergency funds for “disaster relief, long-term recovery, and restoration of infrastructure” in areas where several major disasters occurred earlier this year, including Maine. Eligible communities will be able to use the funding following the approval by HUD of a recovery plan prepared by the State of Maine.
Senator Collins worked with HUD on behalf of Maine, most recently sending a letter to Secretary Steve Preston urging him to provide the disaster funds for Maine to help with recovery efforts.
Following is the text of the letter Senator Collins sent to HUD:
The Honorable Steve Preston
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410
Dear Secretary Preston,
As you continue to allocate the $300 million Congress provided in the FY 2008 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Community Development Block Grant disaster assistance, I urge you to provide funding to help Maine recover from recent severe storms and flooding.
Flooding struck the northern and mid-coast regions of Maine this spring, causing extraordinary damage to homes, buildings, and infrastructure. In Fort Kent, Maine, low-income elderly and disabled residents were forced to leave their apartments, often with little more than the clothes on their backs. In May 2008, President Bush declared disasters for several regions in Maine related to this historic flooding.
I have seen first-hand the terrible effects of these floods, and I strongly urge you to commit Community Development Block Grant disaster funds to Maine to help with recovery efforts. I appreciate your Department’s efforts to support the state following this disaster, including your work with my staff in Maine. Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Susan M. Collins
United States Senator