By Chris Sheppard

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - President Obama has declared Saturday that a major disaster exists in Rhode Island, and has ordered Federal aid to assist in cleaning up parts of the state damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Washington, Newport, and Bristol counties are now eligible to apply for repair to storm-damaged buildings, roads and seawalls that were damaged, and projects that could prevent future hurricane damage.

"Federal, state, and local government worked hard and coordinated effectively to gather information and get Rhode Island's request completed quickly," said Governor Lincoln Chafee."I am grateful for the President's swift approval and his commitment to helping Rhode Island's recovery efforts."

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more counties may be in line for assistance after FEMA concludes its survey of the damage in Rhode Island.