by Mark Curtis, ABC 6 Chief Political Reporter
It was an "All Hands on Deck" afternoon news conference at the statehouse.
Governor Chafee announcing that he formally asked the White House to declare three Rhode Island counties federal disaster areas.
That could bring in five-million dollars to start fixing things up, though the final bill has yet to be tallied.
Governor Lincoln Chafee said, "Washington County, 4–point-7, a little over 4–point–7 million. Bristol County 283 thousand. And Newport County, almost 600 thousand… 598 thousand."
Those price tags will rise, because the totals are only for damage to public areas. Private property owners will be able to seek federal aid, down the road,
Nick Russo of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said, "We'll continue to be here until this event has stabilized and Rhode Island's folks are back up on their feet. And our staff will be there until that happens."
The best news of the day is that major progress has been made restoring electricity and natural gas to all of Rhode Island.
Tim Horan, of National Grid said, "So we're continuing to get everyone back in power by midnight tonight. If you are down in the southern part of the state you are going to see hundreds of tree crews, line crews, personal working down there."
Government and utility leaders insist they are work as fast as they can, and are asking the public to be patient.