What Happens Next, and Today
Your local government officials and highway departments have been in contact with the state frequently. If they have not been communicating publicly much, it is because they are busy beyond normal capacities trying to shore up damaged roads and get roads open. They will continue until we reach a point of stability. Rebuilding is going to be a lengthy and expensive process. Initial expectations are that FEMA will reimburse 75% of costs, but this is just the initial estimate. I will work with the Legislature and Governor’s office to see if the gap can be covered or alleviated. NHDOT and Homeland Security will be reviewing damage this week with state officials on the ground, relaying imagery and conversations to federal officials remotely in real time. ~ Steve
July 29 Flooding Update: On Friday, July 30th HSEM staff contacted impacted communities in Cheshire, Sullivan and Grafton County’s to get their initial determination on what damages they incurred; many are still actively working on repairing roads, even today. HSEM is sending out the initial damage assessment paperwork for communities to document damages so we can determine thresholds for each county as well as the state. It is still too early to tell but based on pictures and stories we’ve heard, it is likely that Sullivan is significantly over their threshold. Due to the amount of damages and continued response mode they will have a couple of weeks to get us the paperwork to determine the thresholds and for HSEM to ask FEMA to come in for the next steps—like we are doing with Cheshire County for the July 18th storm. DOT crews have been out working, some since Thursday night, with the goal of providing emergency access in the hardest hit areas and free flowing access in the more isolated damage areas. They are out assisting again today and preparing for potential impacts tonight and will be have a busy week of more permanent repairs. ~ HSEM
Please be careful
Just because a road looks okay, does not mean that it has not been undermined. Please restrict travel on damaged roads to what is necessary. The urge to go tour the damage is natural, but we need to leave the crews alone to do their work, and not damage roads further. ~ Steve
Posting on Facebook is not notification.
I am seeing some posts about people who are still cut off from a useable road, including those who are in wheelchairs or have other medical issues. I can’t say this strongly enough.
I found those posts by accident. I could as easily have not seen them. If you know of a situation like this, please call or email your local emergency services or Selectboard. They are coordinating with state resources and we need this information tracked in one place so that these folks are not forgotten. If you have trouble getting through to any of them, email me at Steven.Smith@leg.state.nh.us and I will get it to the right place. ~ Steve
FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE TONIGHT…
The National Weather Service in Gray has issued a
* Flash Flood Watch for Portions of central and northern New Hampshire, including the following areas, in central New Hampshire, Sullivan. In northern New Hampshire, Northern Grafton and Southern Grafton.
* From this afternoon through late tonight.
* A wave of low pressure crosses New England tonight with showers and thunderstorms. Between a half and 1.5 inches of rain are expected, although localized amounts of 2-3 inches are possible with training cells and upslope enhancement.
You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.