Thea Digiammerino

Southbury Votes to Spend $1.7 Million on Storm Cleanup

Local leaders are hopeful that FEMA will reimburse the town for parts of their cleanup programs

It was nearly two months ago that tornadoes tore through parts of the state. Now hard-hit communities are figuring out what to do with the mess left behind.

Voters in Southbury approved spending more than $1 million on storm cleanup.

On front yards across parts of the town, you’ll find right near the road big piles of debris from the May 15 storm.

Parts of trees either landed in the right-of-way or were placed there by homeowners.

Now the town says it’s time for them to go.

“We need to get this done no matter what. We need to get it cleaned up,” said Jeff Manville (R), Southbury's first selectman.

On Thursday at a Town Meeting, voters unanimously gave the okay to spend up to $1.7 million on the debris pickup.

The money will come from reserves.

“I’m hoping they change their rainy day fund to a windy day fund from now on. What caused all the problems was the wind,” said Richard Manville of Southbury.

Those howling winds, along with a tornado, ripped through this community about two months ago.

There is still more work and repairs to go, after so many power lines and trees were damaged.

“Any help, any extra help we can get would be great,” said David Goewey who owns a home in Southbury.

Now the town is finding another way to help those still dealing with the destruction by hauling away debris by the road.

“It was a storm of that intensity and level. So it falls on broader shoulders than just the individual homeowners or individual town,” said Richard Manville.

Local leaders are hopeful that FEMA will reimburse the town for 75 percent of the cost of the program.

Next Monday at 7 p.m., people can show up to a meeting at Town Hall and let officials know what they think of the tornado response. 

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