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Biden approves federal aid for Massachusetts; Healey lifts Hurricane Lee state of emergency

What remains of Hurricane Lee passes off Cape Cod shore
What remains of Hurricane Lee passes off Cape Cod shore 02:01

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden has approved an emergency declaration for Massachusetts after a brush with Hurricane Lee.

Biden's move clears the way for federal disaster assistance to flow to the state from FEMA. Gov. Maura Healey declared the emergency on Friday and activated the National Guard to be on standby for any necessary storm preparations and response, including operating highwater vehicles.

On Saturday afternoon, Healey lifted the states of emergency she declared in the absence of significant damage from the storm.

"We're relieved that the impacts of Hurricane Lee have been minimal across Massachusetts and grateful for the public safety officials who have been responding to and preparing for severe weather and flooding throughout the week," Healey said in a statement. "Flooding devastated several of our communities this week and we will continue to support them as they move into the recovery phase. We thank the people of Massachusetts for their preparation and resiliency." 

Lee brought tropical storm-force wind gusts to the coast, knocked out power for thousands Saturday morning and brought down trees onto power lines and roads near the Massachusetts coast.

Earlier this week Biden also approved a disaster declaration for New Hampshire that will help with recovery efforts from July's severe storms and flooding.

Lee officially became "post-tropical" on Saturday morning. It passed about 250 miles east of Boston, with minimal impact for most of the state aside from the immediate coastline. It's expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia later in the day. 

Lobsterman Jeffrey Richardson, of Sandwich, said it was "not the worst storm I've seen, not at all." But he prepared anyway.

"I always say, if you don't do anything, it's going to be bad," he said. "If you spend half the day hauling traps, bringing traps in, prepping your boat, it's going to be minimal. And that's what happened. . . much better being safe than sorry."

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