President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for Superstorm Sandy for six Massachusetts counties that means about $22 million is available to state and local governments to share for emergency response and repair costs.

    The counties included are Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, Plymouth, and Suffolk in eastern Massachusetts.

    Some private non-profit organizations also may be eligible for the aid.

    Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

    The state was spared the worst damage from the October storm, which slammed New Jersey, New York and parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island, but some coastal areas had downed trees and power lines, eroded dunes and washed-out roads.  (Associated Press)