Conn. Seeks Federal Disaster Funds

May 3, 2007

Gov. M. Jodi Rell has asked President Bush to declare Connecticut a disaster area because of the April 15 storm that dumped up to 8 inches of rain in some areas and caused major flooding.

A disaster declaration would make Connecticut eligible for federal funds, helping cover some of the $43 million in expenses incurred by state and local governments and property owners, Rell’s office said in a statement. The state’s congressional delegation has also sent a letter to President Bush urging him to provide federal relief to Connecticut.

The storm damaged 179 businesses and more than 2,400 homes, her office said. Government costs associated with the storm and its aftermath total $12 million, and private losses stand at more than $31.2 million.

If the president makes a disaster declaration, Connecticut municipalities could get federal reimbursements of up to 75 percent of eligible costs to repair storm damage.

Homeowners and renters could be eligible for grants and low-interest loans, and businesses could also qualify for low-interest loans.

“The damage I have seen from this storm rivals anything Connecticut has endured in the last 20 years,” Rell said. “The dollar figure calculated after the damage survey only hints at the storm’s effects.”

Flooding forced the closure of dozens of state and local roads, interrupted service on Metro-North Commuter Railroad’s Danbury line and caused flight delays at Bradley International Airport.

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