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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Representing the 5th District of Connecticut

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Connecticut Congressional Delegation Supports State Appeal of Denied Disaster Relief

September 5, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC-- In a letter Tuesday to FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery, the Connecticut Congressional Delegation supported the appeal by Governor Dannel P. Malloy of the agency’s refusal to provide disaster aid to individual property owners, as well as to the towns of Bridgewater, New Milford and Roxbury who sustained significant damage from the May 15 supercell thunderstorms. 

While FEMA issued a disaster declaration to provide aid to impacted towns in Fairfield and New Haven counties, municipalities in Litchfield County, as well as individual property owners across the state were denied aid. 

“As the Governor’s appeal request makes clear, the three affected towns in Litchfield County are in effect Independent Cities that sustained significant damage to infrastructure and public facilities, similar to the damage sustained in Fairfield and New Haven Counties.  Moreover, homeowners throughout the state are facing high, mostly uninsured costs related to debris removal.  It is vital that you reverse course and grant this appeal in order to provide all the affected individuals and communities in our state with the federal disaster assistance they desperately need and deserve,” the letter states. 

Full text of the letter is available here and copied below. 


September 4, 2018


Mr. Jeff Byard
Associate Administrator 
Office of Response and Recovery 
500 C Street 
Washington, D.C.  20472

 

Dear Associate Administrator Byard:

We write in support of Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s request to appeal aspects of Connecticut’s major disaster declaration that would prevent affected areas in the state from receiving Individual Assistance and prohibit the towns of Bridgewater, New Milford, and Roxbury from receiving Public Assistance.  The powerful supercell thunderstorms that hit Connecticut on May 15, 2018 caused significant damage in these three communities and left individual homeowners throughout our state to bear the costly burden of recovering from the storm. 

The May 15 supercells included tornadoes, a waterspout, tennis ball-sized hail and a straight-line windstorm – resulting in unprecedented power outages, damage to homes and personal property, and the creation of massive amounts of debris.  The storms were highly concentrated with significant, costly immediate and long-term repairs and clean-up.  Individual homeowners now face costs of up to $70,000 each in debris removal and tree and structural damage.  Municipalities in Litchfield County, and in other areas of the state, were forced to exhaust scarce resources to provide emergency services and clear debris – leading to unanticipated costs and strained budgets. 

On August 30, 2018, Governor Malloy appealed the denial of Public Assistance for the towns of Bridgewater, New Milford, and Roxbury in Litchfield County.  The Governor also asked for reconsideration of the denial of Individual Assistance for the residents of New Haven and Fairfield Counties as well as the towns of Bridgewater, New Milford, and Roxbury in Litchfield County.

The Governor’s appeal is pursuant to 44 CFR Section 206.46 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 93-288), which provides for a one-time request for reconsideration of a major disaster declaration denial.  As the Governor’s appeal request makes clear, the three affected towns in Litchfield County are in effect Independent Cities that sustained significant damage to infrastructure and public facilities, similar to the damage sustained in Fairfield and New Haven Counties.  Moreover, homeowners throughout the state are facing high, mostly uninsured costs related to debris removal.  It is vital that you reverse course and grant this appeal in order to provide all the affected individuals and communities in our state with the federal disaster assistance they desperately need and deserve.

We appreciate your attention to this matter and ask for your prompt consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

 

____________________________                                        ______________________________  
RICHARD BLUMENTHAL                                                CHRISTOPHER S. MURPHY
United States Senate                                                              United States Senate

 

____________________________                                        ____________________________ 
ROSA L. DELAURO                                                                        JOHN B. LARSON
Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress   

 

____________________________                                        ______________________________  
JOE COURTNEY                                                                  JIM HIMES
Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress   

 

___________________________                                          
ELIZABETH H. ESTY                                                          
Member of Congress               
 

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