Obama Signs Mass. Disaster Declaration After Irene

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Hyde Park (credit: @LadySpitz)

Hyde Park (credit: @LadySpitz)

BOSTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in Massachusetts in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.

Obama on Saturday ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts after the heavy winds and rains Aug. 27 to Aug. 29. Federal funding will now be available in Berkshire and Franklin counties.

Read: NH Gets Federal Disaster Declaration Over Irene

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says more counties could receive assistance after additional assessments are made.

A 52-year-old man who was electrocuted by downed power lines in Southbridge was the state’s only fatality attributed to Irene. More than 500,000 Massachusetts customers lost power at the storm’s peak.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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