Obama signs disaster declaration for February snowstorms

Washington — — President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration Thursday for the severe snowstorms that hit Maryland in February, making most governments in the state and some nonprofit organizations eligible for federal relief.

The aid will help defray the expense of emergency work, repair or replacement of damaged facilities and other costs connected with the storms of Feb. 5-11. Local governments, including Baltimore City and all counties in the state except Somerset and Worcester are eligible for assistance, the White House said.

Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley said it would take months for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine how much reimbursement state and local agencies would be eligible to receive from Washington.

In a statement, the governor thanked Obama and said the state looked forward to working closely with FEMA "as they assess the storms' damage to our communities and the extraordinary efforts of our first responders to keep Marylanders safe."