By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, April 24, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- Sununu toured areas along Hampton Beach and Ocean Boulevard on Friday morning that were most affected by last Monday's nor'easter, which brought 30-foot waves and flooded numerous beach homes and businesses.
"Here in Hampton, they're dealing with a whole range of issues," Sununu said. "You've got public infrastructure that's damaged — roads, beaches, sea walls — flooding that's affected the fire station, and then there are the private homeowners."
Sununu's visit to Hampton, as well as other communities in the state, prompted him and Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., to write a letter to President George W. Bush asking him to approve New Hampshire's request for a major disaster declaration in order to qualify for federal aid.
Hampton Fire Chief Hank Lipe, Police Capt. Richard Sawyer and Department of Public Works foreman Frank Swift, as well as state Rep. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, accompanied Sununu on the tour in Hampton.
"We gave them a tour of all the damaged areas," Sawyer said.
The tour included a stop at the dampened fire station and the deteriorating sea wall at North Beach. The senator also got to see the six oceanfront homes that public works and safety crews saved in a two-day effort to prevent them from slipping into the ocean.
Sununu also toured a flooded neighborhood in Allenstown and the damage to the Boys & Girls Club of Souhenegan Valley in Milford.
"These visits provided an important opportunity to see first-hand the extent of damage to public infrastructure and private property," Sununu said. "Based on what I saw and reports I received from local and state officials, there is a clear need for a comprehensive recovery effort."
Sununu said he will do everything in his power to ensure that state will be eligible for federal assistance.
"I am committed to helping New Hampshire residents secure the resources they need to get back on their feet, and a disaster declaration will take a major step in that direction," Sununu said.