CONNECTICUT, USA — President Joe Biden has approved Governor Ned Lamont's request for a presidential major disaster declaration due to the damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida in early September.
Winds and extremely heavy rains deluged Connecticut and the rest of the Northeast in early September, leaving at least 46 people dead across five states, including a Connecticut state trooper whose cruiser was washed away in the flooding.
The approval was first announced on Saturday by Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes, then by Governor Lamont, and shortly thereafter by the White House. Himes and Lamont both said the approval was granted at their urging.
What aid is available?
The President’s action makes Federal funding available to individuals in Fairfield and New London Counties, including the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribal Nation, affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida from September 1 to September 2, 2021.
According to the Governor's office, the portions of the request that were approved Saturday include:
- The FEMA Individual Assistance Program for Fairfield County and New London County, including the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribal Nation; and
- The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for the entire state.
The FEMA Individual Assistance Program makes homeowners, renters, and business owners who sustained uninsured or underinsured damage to their property in Fairfield County and New London County eligible for federal disaster assistance. This may include grants for temporary housing and emergency home repairs to make housing safe, accessible, and secure. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments and encourages survivors to file insurance claims for damage to their homes, personal property, businesses, and vehicles as soon as feasible.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Governor Lamont’s request for the FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program is still pending completion of the FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment. The governor is hopeful that the state will receive approval for that program soon.
Himes' office said the disaster declaration will also make money available to assist businesses that were negatively affected by Hurricane Ida. This aid comes primarily in the form of Business Physical Disaster Loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans to assist businesses that suffered either physical damage or loss of revenue due to the storm, respectively. For details on the programs and to learn more about eligibility and how to apply, business owners should visit https://himes.house.gov/ida
How to apply:
People looking to apply for this assistance is are directed to visit disasterassistance.gov or to download the FEMA app. If it is not possible to apply online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines are currently operating from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. daily.
If you're using a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, please provide FEMA the number for the service. Survivors who may need to request an accommodation or have additional questions can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week. Help is available in most languages.
“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,” Governor Lamont said. “I thank President Biden and FEMA for their ongoing work with our administration to protect Connecticut from damage caused by dangerous weather.”
“This was an all-hands-on-deck emergency,” said Himes. “Immediately after the storm, I started meeting with local leaders to survey damage and working with Governor Lamont and the other members of the Congressional delegation to ensure Connecticut would get the help we needed as quickly as possible. The process of working with FEMA and other federal agencies to secure disaster funding is rigorous, but, by working in unison, local, state, and federal officials were able to bring this assistance to the people who desperately need it.”
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