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New Hampshire's Most Costly Natural Disasters


With damage caused by Hurricane Harvey still being tallied and Hurricane Irma set to make landfall, New Hampshire officials are taking stock of the state's preparedness in what could prove to be a record-breaking year for major weather events in the United States.

Several costly natural disasters have hit New Hampshire in recent years, such as the “Mother’s Day Flood,” which caused more than $25 million in damage.

Perry Plummer, director of New Hampshire’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, cited that costly flooding event while on The Exchange with Laura Knoy on Wednesday.

It was one of the most expensive storms in New Hampshire history, and second only to the Nor’easter of 2007 - a $30.5 million weather event -- based on federal disaster aid received.

But the cost estimates tell only part of the story. The total funds are those that the Federal Emergency Management Agency determined eligible for public assistance or individual assistance, after a major disaster declaration was declared. The state then receives the funds, and administers reimbursement.

Since 2000, New Hampshire has received more than $175 million in total disaster funds from FEMA. The state list of disasters below is a work in progress. It does not, for example, include the funds associated with the Grafton County flash flooding July 1-2. A presidential disaster declaration was granted last month; a preliminary damage assessment estimates statewide costs of more than $10 million.


New Hampshire Disaster Declarations: 1953-Present (via NH Dept. of Safety)

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Dan is a long-time New Hampshire journalist who has written for outlets including Foster's Daily Democrat, The Citizen of Laconia, The Boston Globe, and The Eagle-Tribune. He comes to NHPR from the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he reported on state, local, and national politics.

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