President Barack Obama has declared a pre-landfall emergency in Connecticut to allow the state to request funds and other assistance in advance of the storm impacting the state.
""I would like to thank President Obama for understanding the necessity of declaring an emergency in our state in advance of the storm," said Gov. Dannel Malloy, who requested the declaration. "As each forecast has come in, it's become more and more clear that this storm will have a major impact on Connecticut.
"We cannot wait until after it hits to begin the process of seeking emergency assistance," Malloy's statement continued. "State emergency management personnel under my direction have already been working with the FEMA team assigned to Connecticut to coordinate these efforts, understanding the urgency our residents are facing."
Malloy said an emergency declaration would allow the state to request federal funding and other assistance in advance of the storm.
In his letter to the president, Malloy wrote:
“The storm’s impact as a tropical cyclone storm is forecast to be major and potentially catastrophic, with storm surges that are predicted to be in the range of 6 to 11 feet above astronomic high tide, with 6 to 10 feet waves on top of the surge,” Malloy wrote.
Destructive flooding is expected with the high tide on Monday evening with the possibility of additional damage during the noon high tide. Shoreline communities are preparing for storm surges at the level of a Category 4 hurricane, according to the governor.
Evacuations have been ordered in several towns. Malloy said this was expected to affect about 223,000 people, including 140,000 from East Haven to Greenwich, but is now expected to affect 360,000.
In addition to other costs, the state is ordering meals and food for the many evacuees for three days.
“In addition, further damage can be expected from high winds combined with rainfall, with many trees still in full or partial foliage and moist ground from higher than normal rainfall in October,” Malloy wrote. “Given the wind, coastal surge, and flooding impacts on the State’s communities, Sandy threatens destruction at the level of a major disaster.”
Malloy is asking for assistance for Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland and Windham counties.
The estimated local and state cost for four major disasters, including three in 2011, exceeds $50,000.
“(W)e are in the opinion that if this storm is as widespread and damaging as predicted, including record-breaking and potentially catastrophic storm surges, statewide power outages and wind-driven damage to infrastructure(,) Connecticut simply does not have the resources to adequately respond,” Malloy wrote.
You can read the full letter here.