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Connecticut Disaster Declaration for Isaias Damage Tops $20 Million

"If approved, this federal declaration will allow many municipalities in our state to become eligible for much-needed cost reimbursements as they continue to fix damaged infrastructure from the storm.”

by Nicholas Rondinone, The Hartford Courant / September 30, 2020
Linemen crews from Kentucky work on power lines along Farmington Avenue Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in West Hartford as cleanup efforts continue after Tropical Storm Isaias' impact earlier in the week. TNS
(TNS) - Gov. Ned Lamont has sent a request Wednesday to President Donald Trump seeking his approval of a major disaster declaration for damage from Tropical Storm Isaias.
 
Lamont’s office said that weeks of data collection show the damage to public infrastructure tops more than $21 million, and that does not include damage to personal property.
 
“Tropical Storm Isaias came through Connecticut fast and created an impact that is taking weeks to repair,” Lamont said in a statement. "If approved, this federal declaration will allow many municipalities in our state to become eligible for much-needed cost reimbursements as they continue to fix damaged infrastructure from the storm.”
 
Isaias, a fast moving hurricane that was downgraded to a tropical storm, hit Connecticut with powerful winds and drenching rains, causing widespread damage in the matter of several hours.
 
Officials estimated more than 800,000 homes and businesses lost power. Restoration took roughly a week and put a critical eye on the state’s power utilities.
 
Along with outages, crews contended with the clean up of tens of thousands of downed trees that blocked hundreds of roadways.
 
Officials said at least two people died in the storm, and another five were seriously injured.
 
Days after the early August storm, Lamont’s office said that the White House had approved an emergency declaration, opening the opportunity for federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
 
But time was needed to get a detailed estimate of damages before seeking the major disaster declaration that would allowed for up to 75% reimbursement from FEMA.
 
It is unclear if or when Trump will approve the declaration, but the president has approved similar requests in the past.
 
Nicholas Rondinone can be reached at nrondinone@courant.com.
 
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