Gov. Malloy Submits Request for Presidential Major Disaster Declaration in Response to September’s Severe Rain and Flooding
If Approved, Declaration Would Assist Eligible Towns in Middlesex and New London Counties with Cost of Storm Damage on Roads, Bridges, and Other Infrastructure
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has submitted a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a presidential major disaster declaration resulting from the severe rainstorms and flooding that occurred in Connecticut on September 25 and 26. As required by FEMA, the request follows several weeks of data collection across the state by state and local officials to calculate damages and determine whether the federal qualifications have been met.
The Governor’s request includes FEMA public assistance for Middlesex and New London Counties, as well as a statewide request for Hazard Mitigation Assistance. A joint FEMA-state preliminary damage assessment estimates that towns experienced more than $6.3 million in damage from the storms, the vast majority of which occurred to roads, bridges, and culverts. This figure does not yet include state agency costs, which are still being verified but are estimated to reach more than $250,000.
“The heavy rain our state experienced came with little warning and hit fast, causing severe damage to roads and bridges throughout areas of Connecticut, and that is why we are asking the federal government to declare a disaster declaration that would help these towns recover,” Governor Malloy said. “If granted, this declaration would provide much needed assistance to those communities.”
If the public assistance request is approved, affected towns and state agencies will receive federal reimbursement of 75 percent for eligible municipal and state costs for damage to infrastructure in those counties. The approval of Hazard Mitigation Assistance will help state agencies, local governments, and tribal nations take actions that can reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural disasters.
The heavy rainstorms went largely un-forecasted by the majority of weather computer models and resulted in severe flooding that caused extensive damage across a wide area of southern and eastern Connecticut. A total of 4 to 8.5 inches fell in an 18-hour period across portions of Connecticut, with rainfall rates ranging from 1 to 3 inches per hour. To put the storm into perspective, the Yantic River in Norwich reached a stage of 12.53 feet – well above the National Weather Service flood stage of 9 feet and the major flood stage of 11 feet. It was the sixth highest stage ever recorded on the river, which has a period of recording back to 1932.