"The storms that have impacted the state over the past few years have clearly demonstrated the need to upgrade our utility systems, flood protection, and water and sewage infrastructure," said Governor Malloy. "While Connecticut made good progress last year in municipal readiness and preparation, mitigating future damage requires strong partnerships with our federal partners and additional resources from Washington."
Governor Malloy and Senators Lieberman and Blumenthal discussed with Zients the cumulative impact of the two 2011 storms-Tropical Storm Irene and the October nor'easter-as well as last month's superstorm Sandy. More than a billion dollars in damage has been reported by homeowners, businesses, and government in Connecticut.
"Connecticut has been battered by three major weather events in slightly over a year, and we need additional investments from the federal government to assist communities and individuals who are still recovering," said Senator Lieberman. "As extreme weather becomes more and more common, federal funds would help Connecticut take important steps beyond traditional disaster assistance to ensure damage from future storms is less severe."
"This nation has a proud tradition of recognizing a deep obligation to help victims and regions recover and rebuild after natural disaster. No matter whether hurricane, flood, tornado, or earthquake - our country provides relief, and so it should now after Sandy. Fiscal austerity should not stand in the way of continuing to provide the necessary relief to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy," said Senator Blumenthal. "I support Governor Malloy's supplemental budget request and will do all that I can to make sure that Connecticut receives the necessary funding to not only repair existing damage, but to protect the state from future storm damage."
Despite Connecticut's aggressive preparation for bad weather, cumulative damage has occurred across the state that requires additional federal assistance to expedite recovery and prevent future catastrophic damage. Based on early reports from larger coastal municipalities, and the state's evaluation after the two 2011 storms, infrastructure hardening-especially along the coastline-and resiliency initiatives for Connecticut's power grid are estimated to cost $3.2 billion.
The Governor's Office informed the state's congressional delegation last week that Connecticut will seek $620 million for prevention and mitigation measures-$495 million for municipalities and $125 million for the state. The additional $2.5 billion would fund upgrading power transmission systems, replacing and hardening current infrastructure, relocating power lines underground, and establishing micro-grids in selected high density areas.
OMB will submit an Emergency Supplemental spending request to Congress later this week.