Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Waterbury Mayor Michael J. Jarjura said that preliminary damage estimates of the June 2-3 flash flooding in the city totaled $4.4 million. Other towns in Greater Waterbury have estimated damage totaling more than $600,000 from the storm, which dumped up to 7 inches of rain on the region in three hours.
Immediately after the storm, Governor Rell directed the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin the process of seeking federal reimbursement to cover the cost of road, bridge and other repairs and clean-up from the rains.
Combined, Connecticut cities and towns sustained more than $5 million in damage from the heavy rains.
The state said that the preliminary estimates for Waterbury were compiled by three independent engineering firms familiar with FEMA requirements.
DEMHS officials are to submit the estimates to regional Federal Emergency Management Assocation (FEMA) officials who will begin their own damage assessment next week. Once they have completed their work, Governor Rell said she will then submit a formal letter to President Bush requesting a federal disaster declaration so that Waterbury and the other towns may be reimbursed for clean-up and reconstruction costs.
“I have seen the flood devastation in Waterbury first-hand,” said Governor Rell, who toured Waterbury on June 3. “We were fortunate that no lives were lost, but the city sustained some serious damage. City taxpayers would be hard pressed to cover these costs and the state is happy to partner with the city to move this process along as rapidly as possible. I commend Mayor Jarjura and his team for assembling this information so quickly.”
Waterbury was by far the worst hit municipality. Roads were flooded and in some cases washed away. Major traffic detours had to be initiated. Eighteen people had to be rescued as a result of the flash flooding and at least two handicapped individuals had to be evacuated from basements because of flooding. Three police cruisers were totaled when they were overcome by flooding during traffic control operations.
Other New Haven County towns submitting damage estimates were West Haven, Meriden, Cheshire, Middletown, Naugatuck, Oxford and Prospect. Estimates from those towns totaled $616,500.
Two other towns – Bethel in Fairfield County and Woodstock in Windham County – submitted estimates totaling about $45,000. However, a county must sustain damage equaling at least $1.18 per person in the county to qualify for federal reimbursement, and that now appears unlikely.
Source: Governor’s Office
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