20211002-LOC-Flooding

The Ashuelot River rises off Matthews Road in Swanzey after a major rainstorm in mid-July.

After President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for a severe storm that hit the Monadnock Region earlier this summer, Gov. Chris Sununu’s office is providing information about what municipalities can expect in the near future.

The N.H. Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will reach out to Cheshire County communities to set up briefings — a combination of in-person and online sessions — to discuss the application process, according to a news release Friday.

Biden’s declaration, announced Thursday evening, came in response to the July 17-19 storm that hit the Monadnock Region, leaving more than $2 million of damages in its wake. The slow-moving storm dumped several inches of rain across southwestern New Hampshire, washing out roads, inundating rivers and flooding basements as it passed.

Fallon Reed, chief of the division’s Preparedness, Mitigation and Recovery Section, said municipalities can expect to be contacted in the next week or two.

Once the applications have been approved, the division will help local officials navigate the rules and guidelines of the Public Assistance Program, Reed said. When the division has an idea of what the total funds to be given from the Public Assistance Program are, an additional 15 percent of that sum will go to the state for hazard-mitigation projects. The latter funds are specifically for infrastructure that wasn’t damaged in the storm, but should be made more resilient for future storms.

To determine the amount of money each municipality is eligible for, the division will review documents for repairs that have already been completed — invoices and time cards for engineers and site inspectors — as well as what work still remains, according to Reed.

For some projects, money could be available as early as the end of this year or early next, Reed said, but more complicated projects will take longer.

“It’s not a fast process,” she said. “It’s pretty detailed and labor-intensive in terms of reviewing everything.”

Molly Bolan can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436 or mbolan@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @BolanMolly.