Washington – Towns in New Haven, New London, Tolland and Windham counties suffered at least $6.6 million in damages and costs from January’s devastating blizzard, a state emergency management official says.
Last week, Gov. Dannel Malloy asked the Obama administration for an emergency declaration that would open the door to federal assistance to towns that were hardest hit by the blizzard that pummeled Connecticut on Jan. 26, leaving some municipalities with as much as 33 inches of snow.
Scott DeVico, spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said the two-month delay in seeking assistance was attributable to the flurry of other storms after the blizzard, which made it difficult to gather information to present to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“It takes time to work with the towns and state agencies to gather this information,” DeVico said.
If the storm is declared a federal disaster, local governments will be able to apply for reimbursement of 75 percent of the costs of snow removal, damage to public roads and facilities and other storm-related expenses.
A FEMA official said the state’s request is “in process.”
On Friday, the entire Connecticut delegation wrote President Obama, urging him to issue a disaster declaration.
“The blizzard required our state and many of our municipalities to exhaust scarce resources removing the snow so that roads would be safe enough for travel and critical services could remain available to our constituents,” the lawmakers wrote. “This important work strained budgets and forced our state, local communities and tribal nations to face large, unanticipated costs.”