NEWPORT – Gov. Lincoln Chafee on Friday formally signed a request to declare three counties, Washington, Bristol, and Newport, federal disaster areas.
"I request that you declare a major disaster for the State of Rhode Island as a result of Hurricane Sandy," Governor Chafee wrote to President Obama. "This catastrophic event has created widespread devastation and has affected approximately 300,000 residents across the State."
"I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments, and that federal assistance under the Stafford Act is necessary to supplement the efforts and available resources of state and local governments, disaster relief organizations, and compensation by insurance for disaster-related damage," Governor Chafee continued.
The Governor specifically requested Public Assistance for Bristol, Newport, and Washington Counties, and requested the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program statewide.
The request will be amended – including the modification of assistance levels and the possible inclusion of Individual Assistance – as the damage assessment process continues and more information is obtained.
The request puts into motion a process by which communities would be eligible for federal disaster funds. In Newport, those fund would likely be applied to repair damage on Ocean Drive, at Easton's Beach, and along the Cliff Walk.