Obama making expedited disaster declaration for Connecticut

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Tuesday that President Barack Obama is making an expedited disaster declaration for Connecticut’s shoreline, including Fairfield and New Haven counties, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

“When I spoke with the President earlier today, he made it clear that the federal government was going to do everything in its power to help our residents get back to normal as quickly as possible,” Mr. Malloy said. “The fact that this declaration happened so quickly is a real testament to that. This declaration will allow Connecticut to receive important federal assistance that will supplement the state and local recovery efforts needed from the impact of Hurricane Sandy. I want to thank President Obama for his leadership during this difficult time.”

The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, to coordinate disaster relief efforts toward “alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the declared Connecticut counties.”

The declaration will provide assistance to individuals, municipalities, state agencies and certain non-profits, including reimbursing state and local agencies for eligible emergency protective measures and debris removal at 75% federal funding. Affected individuals may be eligible for a variety of disaster assistance services and programs.

“After traveling around the state today and meeting with residents, I was able to view some of the damage first hand,” Mr. Malloy said.  “There is a lot of damage that’s been caused by the storm from both wind and flooding, particularly around the shoreline area.”

He added, “I’ve directed state emergency management personnel to continue meeting with local officials and the FEMA team assigned to Connecticut to assess where these efforts are needed most and to get help there as soon as possible.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4), a Cos Cob resident, joined Mr. Malloy on the tour of areas in his district impacted by the storm. On Tuesday night he issued a statement on the president’s action.

“I applaud President Obama and Governor Malloy for their work to expedite the disaster declaration process,” Mr. Himes said. “My office stands ready to assist constituents with the recovery process, including applying to FEMA for the individual and business assistance this declaration provides. I continue working with town and city officials to assess damages and reach out to residents affected by the storm. My sympathy goes out to those who are suffering from the hurricane.”

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