Biden Signs Major Disaster Declaration For Connecticut in Response to Ida Damage

NBC Connecticut

President Joe Biden has granted Connecticut a Major Disaster Declaration to aid in Ida recovery, prompting the release of federal funding to many impacted.

State officials said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) underwent several weeks of data requirement, which is required to qualify for the declaration. The assessment included a calculation of FEMA-eligible damage in order to determine whether the required federal thresholds have been met.

On Saturday, Biden officially granted this declaration, which will in turn provide a resource for many residents impacted by the storm which swept through the state in September.

“Approval of this declaration from President Biden will provide much-needed financial assistance to homeowners, renters, and business owners in the areas that were heavily impacted by the floods from this severe storm,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement. “I thank President Biden and FEMA for their ongoing work with our administration to protect Connecticut from damage caused by dangerous weather.”

Individual assistance, which is help for individuals and households, is available for certain areas most impacted by the storm. This includes Fairfield and New London counties, as well as the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribal Nation.

This type of assistance is available for homeowners, renters and business owners "who sustained uninsured or under-insured damage to their property." This could include grants for temporary housing and emergency home repairs to make housing safe, accessible and secure, according to Lamont.

People in the above areas can apply for assistance with FEMA online, in the app or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Public assistance, which is help for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities, may be available for areas which are currently under review. No public assistance has been approved yet.

Lamont has already requested public assistance for Fairfield and Middlesex counties. It's unclear if or when it'll be approved, but the governor says he is hopeful that the state will receive approval soon.

If approved, public assistance will make the state and every municipality in these counties eligible to receive reimbursement of 75% of the costs for uninsured damage to infrastructure as well as costs associated with their response and emergency protective measures, according to state officials.

The Public Assistance damage assessments in Litchfield, New Haven and New London counties weren't complete as of last week, but the governor anticipates adding these counties to his request assuming they meet the threshold necessary to qualify.

Biden approved assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards. This, called Hazard Mitigation, is available is all areas in the state under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

The declaration states that more designations can be added at a later date if requested by the State of Connecticut and approved after further assessments.

The governor submitted his request for the declaration on Oct. 22.

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