WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., expressed pleasure Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency reversed its earlier decision to deny disaster aid to five Connecticut counties hard hit by an April nor’easter and agreed to provide aid to two additional counties that sustained serious damage.
FEMA informed the Senator that Fairfield, Litchfield, Hartford, New Haven, and Middlesex Counties would receive “individual assistance” aid, despite its rejection on May 13, 2007, of a request for aid to those counties. FEMA said it would also provide aid to Windham and New London Counties, as requested by Governor Rell in her appeal of the original denial of aid.
“Many Connecticut families suffered tremendously from the winds, rain, and flooding produced by April’s nor’easter,” Lieberman said. “FEMA’s denial of this aid was a mistake. I don’t think they took into consideration the magnitude of the damage and the inability of the state and local governments to pay for it. So, I’m pleased FEMA has now come through for the state.”
The nor’easter produced heavy rains, frozen precipitation, high winds, and coastal, riverine, and urban flooding beginning on April 15, 2007. Flood warnings were cancelled on the Farmington River on April 20, 2007 and on the Housatonic River on April 21, 2007. Flood warnings for the Connecticut River were still in effect on Friday, April 27, 2007 – twelve (12) days after the storm.
The preliminary damage assessment identified 92 residential units in the counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, New Haven, and Middlesex with major damage as defined by FEMA.
Later, the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security received information from homeowners indicating that many additional units suffered significant damage. Governor Rell’s request for aid to Tolland County was denied.