President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for Massachusetts to help the state rebuild following January's severe winter storms.
Gov. Deval Patrick asked for the declaration in the wake of the winter pounding the state took on Jan. 11 and 12.
The storms spread heavy snow and ice across Massachusetts, shutting down roads, closing schools and businesses and leaving thousands without power.
Sen. John Kerry hailed the declaration Monday.
Kerry said that while most of the snow and ice from the storms has melted away, people are still hurting from the damage left behind. He said people missed work, homes lost power and businesses had to close their doors, losing valuable revenue.
Obama issued the disaster declaration Monday afternoon.