Governor Lamont Submits Request for Federal Agriculture Disaster Declaration Due To Severe Flooding
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking a federal agriculture disaster declaration for all eight counties in Connecticut due to the significant damage that occurred to farms and crops statewide from the recent heavy rainfall that caused significant flooding, particularly along the Connecticut River and other waterways.
The request comes after the Connecticut Department of Agriculture conducted an assessment of flood damage to farms, which found that 27 farms in the state are estimating losses totaling more than 1,500 acres and nearly $21 million in lost sales revenue. This flooding is in addition to two previous frost events in February and May that resulted in 1,077 acres impacted with estimated losses totaling $8.4 million.
In a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack, Governor Lamont notes that Connecticut received 10.74 inches of rain so far in July, which is 423% of the state’s normal rainfall for the month.
If Governor Lamont’s request is approved, the declaration will make farmers eligible for certain federal disaster assistance programs, such as emergency loans, to cover production losses they experienced from the flooding.
“My administration has been in regular contact with farmers from across Connecticut who are experiencing an incredible amount of losses due to the severe and abnormal weather we have experienced just in these first several months of 2023 that is having a major impact on their ability to operate,” Governor Lamont said. “Farms are small businesses that provide the food we rely on and also employ a significant number of workers. The approval of this declaration will help these farmers continue supporting their businesses. I appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s consideration of this request and his ongoing support for Connecticut’s agricultural industry.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month approved an agriculture disaster declaration for all eight counties in Connecticut due to the impact of the sub-freezing weather conditions that occurred in the early morning of May 18, causing significant damage to crops. Farmers who experienced damage from that weather event have eight months from the date of that agriculture disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans from the federal government. Farmers seeking assistance under that declaration must contact their local Farm Service Agency office.