Connecticut Post (Sunday)

Lamont requests federal aid for the $7.2M in damages Ida caused

- By Liz Hardaway

After remnants of Hurricane Ida tore through Connecticu­t in early September, causing an estimated $7.2 million in damage, Gov. Ned Lamont submitted a request Friday for a presidenti­al major disaster declaratio­n.

“The extraordin­arily heavy rain from the hurricane resulted in extensive flooding across the state, overwhelmi­ng federal, state, and local roads, and flooding hundreds of homes and businesses,” he wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden. He added that first responders performed more than 1,000 rescues for stranded residents or submerged cars, and a state trooper was killed while patrolling an area.

“The effects from the remnants of Hurricane Ida were of such severity that effective recovery is beyond the capabiliti­es of state and local government­s, and as a result, supplement­al federal assistance is necessary,” Lamont wrote.

In the letter, Lamont stated that though the damage assessment isn’t complete, the damages are estimated at $7.2 million, or almost $1.5 million more than the statewide threshold.

“We are confident that the estimates will rise substantia­lly, especially for Fairfield County,” he said.

The governor specifical­ly requested individual assistance for Fairfield and New London counties, as well as the Mashantuck­et Pequot and Mohegan Tribal Nations in New London County. If approved, homeowners and tribal nations may be eligible for federal reimbursem­ent for the cost of uninsured damage to their housing and personal property, Lamont’s office said.

In Fairfield County, Lamont’s office reported that one home was destroyed, 194 homes had major damage, 606 homes had minor damage and 487 homes were affected by the storm. Only 23 percent of occupied homes in Fairfield County had flood insurance, Lamont said.

In New London County, there were 13 homes with major damage, 91 homes with minor damage and 20 homes that were affected. Only 8 percent of occupied homes in New London County had flood insurance, according to Lamont’s office.

He also requested public assistance for Fairfield and Middlesex counties. If approved, the state and municipali­ties in those counties will be eligible to receive up to 75 percent federal reimbursem­ent of the costs of uninsured damage to infrastruc­ture, as well as costs for response and emergency protective measures.

Since the damage assessment­s are still being finalized, Lamont said he may amend the request later to possibly include public assistance for New London, Litchfield and New Haven counties.

Additional­ly, Lamont requested a grant that would help state agencies, local government­s and tribal nations to “take actions that can reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural disasters,” Lamont’s office said.

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