Remember the December blizzard? It happened about four or five feet of snow ago, before “snowmageddon” and having to take your life in your hands every time you navigate the snow mountains on your street.
The federal government — now that it’s open again — remembers. President Obama signed late last week a disaster declaration for the storm.
The storm dropped more than two feet of snow in parts of the region and the state Department of Transportation spent nearly $27 million cleaning it up. The disaster declaration means state and local agencies are eligible for federal matching funds.
The state still doesn’t know how much will be reimbursed and when, wrote Shaun Adamec, a spokesman for Gov. Martin O’Malley, in an email. Auditors have to go over expenses large and small incurred during the storm, a process that could take several weeks.
“The Presidential declaration begins that calculation process,” Adamec said.
And then there’s round two (and three, depending on how you score your blizzards). The state is looking for federal help on the back-to-back February storms. The final cost figure hasn’t been tallied, but initial estimates put highway clean-up alone at “well in excess of $50 million,” according to Adamec.