Major Disaster Declared For May Tornadoes in Connecticut

The Trump administration has approved a major disaster declaration in connection with the May 15 tornadoes that caused extensive damage in several towns.

The declaration includes New Haven and Fairfield counties and means that state agencies and towns in those counties will receive financial assistance from the federal government to help pay for costs associated with the storms.

A request by Gov. Dannel Malloy for assistance for individual residents remains under review, according to a news release.

On May 15, tornadoes touched down in Winsted, Barkhamsted, Oxford, and from Beacon Falls to Bethany and into Hamden.

Several other towns sustained heavy damage from a macroburst.

“This declaration will provide much needed financial assistance to our municipalities and the state,” Governor Malloy said. “These storms had a devastating impact, causing significant damage that is still being cleaned up and repaired months later. I thank the federal government for continuing to be a partner in these efforts.”

While the aid is a huge relief for municipalities, homeowners are still unsure if they'll see any help for their out-of-pocket costs of cleanup. Help for homeowners is still being considered, including potential loans or direct assistance.

“Every morning I wake up and it looks very, very different. I’m shocked every day,” said Betty Kelley of Bethany.

Kelley and her husband Joe still can’t believe how their backyard in Bethany was transformed in a moment.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. It was kind of eerie,” said Joe Kelley.

Tree crews are still cleaning up dozens of downed trees at the Kelley’s.

There are those without insurance and even some who do, including the Kelley’s, are discovering their damage is not covered since the trees did not hit their house.

“This is out-of-pocket. So you have to do what you have to do,” said Betty Kelley.

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