Help on the Way for Aroostook County 

President Bush has signed a federal disaster declaration for assistance in Aroostook County, where hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged and as many as 1,000 people were displaced due to the St. John River flood last week.

The declaration makes federal assistance available for temporary housing, repairs and disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs. Teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been in the state making damage assessments.

Gov. John Baldacci and members of the state’s congressional delegation announced the declaration. In his letter to Bush seeking a disaster declaration, Baldacci estimated that more than 200 homes were damaged and that as many as 1,000 people were displaced from their homes.

Assistance for individuals will be in the form of grants or low-interest Small Business Administration loans. SBA loans for uninsured damage or economic injury are available to businesses.