The Associated Press

Obama Declares Mass. Emergency For Water Break

BOSTON — President Obama has signed an emergency disaster declaration offering federal help as Massachusetts grapples with the effects of a major water main break.

The break prompted Gov. Deval Patrick to issue a boil order for about 2 million people in the greater Boston area.

Mr. Obama’s declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts with the state to help ease hardships caused by the emergency.

The order is aimed specifically at protecting property and public health in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties.

The 10-foot wide pipe has been repaired, but health officials say quality testing must be finished before tap water in Boston and about 30 other communities is approved for drinking.

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