Governor Lamont Asks for Federal Help for Farmers After Tropical Storm Elsa

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The governor is asking for federal help for farmers who suffered damage during Tropical Storm Elsa last month.

Gov. Ned Lamont said he submitted an agricultural disaster declaration request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the state.

Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt and other officials tour agricultural facilities and farms throughout the state to the damage and learn about crop loss.

The Connecticut River overflowed its banks due to the storm and flooded several fields, including Hayes Farm in Rocky Hill.

“This flood came in this late in the season, actually flooded crops that were already established, rotted them out, killed a lot of crops along the Connecticut River area," Fran Whelan, co-owner of Hayes Farm, said. "A lot of farmers lost $50,000 if not $100,000 in income in fertilizer, seeds, time, labor.”

If the U.S. Department of Agriculture approves the request, farmers in all eight Connecticut counties would be eligible for federal disaster assistance, such as emergency loans, to cover production losses they experienced as a result of the storm, according to the governor.

Tropical Storm Elsa dumped rain and caused several streets to flood along the coast and in city streets. Almost 24 hours later and we're starting to see large areas of water like the Willimantic River recede.

“Farm owners are small business owners, and not only are they responsible for employing a significant number of people and generating economic activity, but they grow the food that we all rely on,” Lamont said in a statement.

He said any bit of relief from the damage sustained during this tropical storm will be an aid to local farmers.

“It’s great to have assistance, hopefully, it will come and help some of the farmers that really struggle yearly to survive to make it,” Whelan said.

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