BOSTON—President Barack Obama has signed an emergency declaration for Massachusetts paving the way for federal disaster aid following the late October snowstorm that blanketed the area, leaving hundreds of thousands without power.
Tuesday's emergency declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts to help alleviate the hardship caused by the early blast of winter.
Gov. Deval Patrick had requested the aid on Monday. At the height of the storm, about 700,000 Massachusetts residents were without power.
By Tuesday evening, more than 299,000 electricity customers were still in the dark. At least five deaths were blamed on the storm.
The federal disaster aid is directed at Berkshire, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester counties and provides up to 75 percent federal funding for emergency measures.