No Money, Mo Problems: FEMA

We suffered, but apparently not enough

Sure, trees toppled and homes were damaged, some beyond repair, but FEMA's not opening their wallets to help with Connecticut's clean-up from June's tornado and severe storms.

On Tuesday, the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) announced that the damage estimates were not high enough to receive FEMA aid.
The EF-1 tornado, heavy winds, rain and hail from 6 days of storms, caused $1,796,923.35 in damage in Hartford County, falling about $1 million short of the threshold. 
There are no trees left standing in John Cippola's Wethersfield yard.

"This was a maple tree that fall down on my house," Cippola says, pointing to the stump that remains.

It's all that is left of the massive maple that crashed onto Cippola's house during that June 26 tornado.

"It was very fast," recalls Cippola, who was home at the time. "It was very scary, a lot of damage in five seconds maybe."

The wind also unearthed a huge oak tree that fell on his neighbor's home.

A row of five stumps shows where pine trees used to line his back fence. The side fence separating his yard from his neighbor's is destroyed.

"Five or 10 seconds worth of damage and it will take two, three months to rebuild it and put it back where it was," Cippola said.


 Statewide, the damage is estimated at $2,434,302.12, and the federal threshold to receive help is $4.4 Million.
It's disappointing news for Wethersfield Mayor Andrew Adil. He says the town spent more than a million dollars cleaning up.

"If it had not been such an isolated storm, I think as a state we would have been more eligible," Mayor Adil said.

John Cippola didn't know he was supposed to report the $25,000 in damage done to his roof.

Thankfully, it's covered by insurance.

But the $4,200 he spent to clear all the trees wasn't.

"The goverment would have been a great help to everybody, to them, to us it would have trickle down," Cippola said. "Even if it was just a couple of hundred dollar that we could have recovered it would have been a great help."

Mayor Adil says homeowners and small business owners may still qualify for a low-interest loan from the federal government. The state is still awaiting word on that program.

Businesses impacted by the severe weather can apply for loans from the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. 
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